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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "The Big Sick"

This is another one of those reviews where I truly want to be careful. “The Big Sick” is one of those films where a trailer only scratches the surface of its entire message and to know too much about it can take some of its powerful message away, so this may be really vague and I apologize ahead of time.

Purchased for a record $12 million at Sundance by Amazon Studios, “The Big Sick” is the true story of comedian and star of “Silicon Valley” Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily’s love story. He comes from a Pakistani family who is very committed to the ways of their people and faith while he is more concerned with being his own man and finding a love that is true to him instead of having his marriage arranged for him. During one of his stand-up sets, he meets Emily (played here by Zoe Kazan), and the deeper their love develops, the larger the challenge becomes from both his family and the pressure to meet hers.

It is a rare thing where a person can star in their own story and bring the rest of a cast to the level of their passion to be raw and honest as well as carry the wit and heart that comes with a story of a stand-up comic and how his “night job” bleeds into his everyday life. “The Big Sick” reaches that level and even surpasses it with brilliant casting from Kazan to the families (her parents played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, while veteran actor Anupam Kher along with Zenobia Shroff play his) and even to his friends played by “SNL” cast member Aidy Bryant and comedians Bo Burnham and Kurt Braunohler have such great chemistry that there were moments where I felt I was watching more of a documentary than a narrative. I was especially impressed by Romano, who has made a career as the bumbling husband and takes his acting chops to a new level here by evolving that character into one that has a great emotional depth that seems to be missing from roles of this type. There is a strength to his Terry that couples itself with his need to be the anchor of his family and a partner to a very headstrong wife that he conveys incredibly well, making this film even better.

Having already achieved the best per-screen average of the year in its limited release, I will be very interested to see where success takes “The Big Sick” from here. There is nothing about this film that I did not truly enjoy and hope it gets even more of the recognition that it truly deserves!

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