For Reel

The Big Sick (2017)
August 14, 2017, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Michael Showalter
4.5 Stars
The Big Sick.jpgPlaying as a modern variant of the comedy of remarriage, The Big Sick is a romantic comedy where the conflicts don’t feel so much like imposing conveniences but rather stem naturally from the character dynamics. Kumail Nanjiani’s efforts to win his ex-girlfriend back don’t come from grand romantic gestures or the resolution of a misunderstanding, but rather they play as an excruciating waiting game. Sure, he can win an uneasy alliance with his ex’s parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, both terrific), but both of them acknowledge their daughter’s relationship with him is not a certainty. For being a comedy about panic, neuroses, and fractured marriages, the film is surprisingly quiet and earnest in its best moments. Hunter’s explosion at a stand-up show is a fine scene in itself, but the circumstances that begin the night as well as her shame in the fallout is what makes the film really human. As Emily, the comatose ex-girlfriend, Zoe Kazan makes the most of her awake scenes, with her frustrations with Kumail being understandable and admirable despite the audience’s affection for his character. Her hold on the movie becomes clear when Kumail and her parents navigate her apartment while she’s in the hospital—it’s a lovely, affecting sequences, where the unlikely trio realizes that the one thing they have in common is their love for Emily.