XS Review: THE BIG SICK

It is time to hit the cinema!

The latest output from the Apatow machine is a genuinely delightful and cynicism-free outing at the pictures.

The Big Sick

THE BIG SICK  (Dir. Michael Showalter, 120 mins, Cert 15) ̣̣̣̣


This incredibly 21st Century rom-com has been labelled Trump-Bait by some critics, but that necessitates an idea that this film was made just to do so - whereas the reality is this film presents a whole hearted, modern and, more importantly, true story about a two people from different backgrounds coming together. If that’s something that annoys half of America, so be it. 


Based on the real-life romance of writers Kumail Nanjiani (played by himself) and Emily Gordon (played by Zoe Kazan), it could be easy to mistake this as a by the numbers rom com to begin with. Kumail plays an Uber driver by day, stand-up comic by night who meets and falls for a woman outside of his family’s expectations for him. But just as another film might start to enter the second act lull, this film takes a 180 flip and presents us with an affecting scenario that changes every character involved, and seeing how each interact with the fallout and one another creates the perfect scenario for this film about acceptance and cultural differences. With a supporting cast including Ray Romano, Holly Hunter and Aidy Bryant, the film seamlessly switches between the world of underground comedy and all it’s frills, to strict organised religion and arranged marriages. 


The film’s depiction of life as a Pakistani native living within western culture is incredibly insightful and respectful, clearly drawing from Nanjiani’s own life, the themes of tradition vs modern life are poignant and insightful and at no point are any of the punchlines based towards the race as a whole. As equally impressive is the nature of the comedy, focusing mainly on the perils of caring for a sick person and living in the 21st century. 


This is another critical smash from producer Judd Apatow who has brought us such greats as Bridesmaids, Knocked Up and Girls - to name a few - over the years. It’s clear he saw something in Nanjiani and Gordon’s script, and was proven right when it secured one of the biggest deals in Sundance Film Festival history.

This film goes against the current to do something new and original within a safe genre, and for that I commend it. It’s an easy watch with genuine laugh out loud moments, and isn’t a film you’ve seen 10 times before.