The Big Sick

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  • The Big Sick

    the apparently autobiographical story of actor-comedian Kumail Nanjiani's courtship of his american girlfriend (now bride) Emily Gordon is often as funny as one would expect it to be given the source. whether on Silicon Valley or doing standup, Kumail is generally hilarious and he doesn't disappoint on that front in this movie either.

    the couple's story of how they became attached, despite Emily's serious medical emergency and respective cultural barriers, has some potentially interesting things to say about love, family, religion, and each partner's devotion to those aspects of a relationship.

    strictly as a rom-com genre entry, however, it didn't work as well for me for a few reasons. one, it's hard to tell a love story when one half of the romantic equation is in a coma for the whole of Act Two, which forces the drama to come from family conflicts that weren't as interesting to me as the relationship. second, the theoretical dilemma of Kumail being forced to choose between the traditional Pakistani arranged marriage and white, american Emily is never seriously placed in doubt. we see that he doesn't buy into the tradition from the beginning and there is no "Bellamy" interest to credibly compete for his affection with the (comatose) Emily.

  • #2
    Re: The Big Sick

    I enjoyed it very much. Very human and funny.

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    • #3
      Re: The Big Sick

      Must admit, I loved this one personally. Caught it a few weeks back and thought it was an interesting take on the rom-com genre.
      An adventuress, rabblerouser, and all-around snarky bon viveur. The editor-in-chief for Film Daily, http://filmdaily.co/

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      • #4
        Re: The Big Sick

        Can't wait. Hearing nothing but good things.
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        • #5
          Re: The Big Sick

          My friend saw it and liked it. Same guy who liked captain fantastic, so I'm sceptical.
          I will not fall into despair! I will keep myself hearty, till freedom is opportune!

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          • #6
            Re: The Big Sick

            Well, it's not much like Captain Fantastic, so give it a shot.

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            • #7
              Re: The Big Sick

              Our daughter recommended it, as she's seen Kumail Nanjiani in L.A. comedy clubs (and he lives a few blocks from her), and we loved it. It's a very honest film without ever once turning mawkish.

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              • #8
                Re: The Big Sick

                Good film is good.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Big Sick

                  Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                  strictly as a rom-com genre entry, however, it didn't work as well for me for a few reasons. one, it's hard to tell a love story when one half of the romantic equation is in a coma for the whole of Act Two, which forces the drama to come from family conflicts that weren't as interesting to me as the relationship. second, the theoretical dilemma of Kumail being forced to choose between the traditional Pakistani arranged marriage and white, american Emily is never seriously placed in doubt. we see that he doesn't buy into the tradition from the beginning and there is no "Bellamy" interest to credibly compete for his affection with the (comatose) Emily.
                  But that was the whole thing I think that makes it stand out, is that it is not the standard, expected rom-com. Yes, it's different, but isn't that what we want to write? Something different, yet still romantic and funny? Isn't that our goal? to break out from the constraints of what's been done and done to death? I loved the comedy in the film but what you point out-- now that I think about it-- is the very thing that made the film different.

                  *spoiler alert!! * ...
                  It was perhaps because of the coma that this story was so very different, so interesting. The break ups, the not-getting-back-together, the cute attempt to get backtogether that failed, the leaving, the yes, maybe we'll get back to together gave me a slight whiplash of yes, no, no, no, maybe, no, etc. so I was surprised at every turn, but in particular because of the situation, the set-up.

                  It was almost as if Emily's illness allowed Kumail to explore what had happened to the couple's relationship and why, and for us to as well. The fact that, not only was Emily not "there" emotionally, but she was not even there physically or on any level, allowed Kumail's POV to be clear, if not Emily's. I thought it was a fresh way to look at rom-coms.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Big Sick

                    Originally posted by SBdeb View Post
                    But that was the whole thing I think that makes it stand out, is that it is not the standard, expected rom-com. Yes, it's different, but isn't that what we want to write? Something different, yet still romantic and funny? Isn't that our goal? to break out from the constraints of what's been done and done to death? I loved the comedy in the film but what you point out-- now that I think about it-- is the very thing that made the film different.

                    *spoiler alert!! * ...
                    It was perhaps because of the coma that this story was so very different, so interesting. The break ups, the not-getting-back-together, the cute attempt to get backtogether that failed, the leaving, the yes, maybe we'll get back to together gave me a slight whiplash of yes, no, no, no, maybe, no, etc. so I was surprised at every turn, but in particular because of the situation, the set-up.

                    It was almost as if Emily's illness allowed Kumail to explore what had happened to the couple's relationship and why, and for us to as well. The fact that, not only was Emily not "there" emotionally, but she was not even there physically or on any level, allowed Kumail's POV to be clear, if not Emily's. I thought it was a fresh way to look at rom-coms.
                    except i never had a moment of doubt that they would end up together. i might have wondered whether Emily would live through her illness (though I knew from the real-life story that she did). but Kumail was obviously not going to give in to his parents' wishes for an arranged marriage, and all of the women (the "Bellamys" in rom-com terms) that his mother brought home clearly held no interest or attraction for him. the more dramatic choice for Kumail and Emily's relationship would have been for the last Pakistani girl that he dumps to actually be someone that he, unexpectedly, does have a connection with. so that it becomes a true choice for Kumail between two equally valid choices.

                    i'm fine with a movie that subverts expectations about a particular genre, but i didn't go to the Big Sick expecting to spend half of it watching the guy try to win over the girl's parents, instead of the girl herself

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Big Sick

                      Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                      i'm fine with a movie that subverts expectations about a particular genre, but i didn't go to the Big Sick expecting to spend half of it watching the guy try to win over the girl's parents, instead of the girl herself
                      Is it possible then that this simply wasn't a rom-com at all? Maybe it's just referred to in that genre for simplicity or to sell it or because they don't have a real genre that describes it.

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