Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Hey, if you don’t like cliché’s you’re in the wrong place! The Big Sick looks at love, relationships, and family. It’s best when all three overlap, but if Romeo & Juliet taught us anything it’s that they rarely do!
The movie tells the story of Kumail Nanjiani, who also stars as himself and is nominated for an Oscar in the Original Screenplay category. Basically it’s the story of how he met his now wife, the cultural obstacles that drove them apart and the medical obstacles that ultimately brings them together. There’s nothing that a near death experience won’t cure.
Kumail’s family at first may seem cliché. In fact, it all seems reminescent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Cross-culture conflict abounds from a parent constantly setting him up with nice Pakistani girls, being told when to pray (but instead playing games on your phone), to pressure to continue your native culture despite being in America.
Being a standup comic isn’t exactly being a lawyer, which is his parents’ dream for him. But it’s his dream, and it leads to his dream girl. The only problem is she’s not the dream girl for his parents and he doesn’t tell them anything about them. They break up and before they can make up.. she goes into a coma.
Actors usually find playing the role of coma patient very limiting. But in this case it actually allows Kumail to grow. If being immobile was that inspiring I’d never get out of bed! Without going into detail, her parents rush to her side and eventually embrace their relationship more than his parents ever could.
There are more clichés in the film: the confrontation with her parents. The mega-confrontation with his. But the story avoids the Sleeping Beauty Syndrome where she wakes up and embraces our hero. It’s hard to criticize a story when everything that seems made-for-hollywood is (basically) real. But maybe that is life. Clichés exist because they are common results to common situations.
The Big Sick was still a good movie, but not in an “..and the Oscar goes too..” sort of way.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Murree Beer. It’s the local beer of Pakistan (an ostensibly dry country). Raise a bottle of forbidden beer to forbidden love.