Ben Oliver

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The Big Sick

What’s my stance on 9/11? Oh um, anti. It was a tragedy, I mean we lost 19 of our best guys.
16 September 2017

A comedian (Kumail Nanjiani, playing himself) meets a girl, Emily, after she heckles him at a show (Zoe Kazan) and they both hit it off. She falls into a coma with an unknown illness and he gets to know her parents (Holly Hunter, Ray Romano) for the first time while she’s asleep. Meanwhile, he’s afraid to tell his parents about his girlfriend because they want him to marry a Pakistani girl.

The screenplay is not only based on a true story, but it’s written by the husband and wife to which it happened, and the husband stars in the film as himself.

Good rom-coms are hard to come by so The Big Sick is a breath of fresh air. Its dialogue driven sense of humour feels natural and Nanjiani captures the awkwardness of the situation beautifully.

It’s an Apatow production (although directed by Michael Showalter), and some of that self indulgent improv sneaks in at times, making the film run on for about 20 minutes too long. However, The Big Sick by no means leans on that as its main source of comedy (making the redundant scenes even more redundant…).

This is a genuinely funny and touching piece of work. Like Sleepwalk With Me (but far less shit) crossed with Master Of None. Somewhat of an oasis in what feels like a barren comedic landscape.

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