“This movie was executed to perfection on all levels; writing, acting, directing, editing, you name it. I have nothing negative to say about it, but I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it either.”
The Big Sick: 4.5 out of 5
This movie was directed by Michael Showalter, who you probably recognize from Wet Hot American Summer and Stella. He made his feature directorial debut with a film called, Hello, My Name is Doris, which received an 83% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Big Sick was produced by Judd Apatow, who doesn’t need much of an introduction, but his influence felt apparent in this movie. I look forward to seeing more from these two as they seem to share a very funny, intelligent, and heartfelt style of storytelling.
In The Big Sick, Showalter proves again that he has a knack not only for comedy, but for drama. For me personally, the majority of the movie was a gut wrenching experience. It was raw, relatable, and emotionally draining. There is nothing worse than helplessly watching someone you love deal with a life threatening illness in the hospital — and thanks to the top-notch acting and honest writing — that’s exactly what watching this movie felt like. If it wasn’t for the charm and humor of this extremely talented cast and crew, this would have been a real grind to get through.
The reason I say I won’t be quick to recommend it is because I respect the fact that most people aren’t always looking for a movie that challenges them intellectually or emotionally, including myself. Sometimes you just want to turn your brain off for a few hours and watch some robot giants vaporize a few zombie aliens — i get that. While I did come away from this movie feeling uplifted, grateful, and inspired, those were the payoffs for spending a lot of time going into the darker places of my mind. Most people who ask me for movie recommendations aren’t always seeking that. Shindler’s List is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but when someone asks me for a movie recommendation that usually isn’t what they are looking for.
With all of that said, I really loved this film. It was based on the real-life romance between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. It explored the experience of a first generation middle-easterner in post 9-11 America, a young man dealing with the pressure of generations of family tradition and following his own heart instead of his parents expectations. If you are looking for a Michael Bayesq movie, avoid this at all costs. If you want to earn your emotional payoff instead of having it handed to you on a plate, check it out.