By Gutsche Maximilian (Wolfsberg, Kärnten, Austria)

 

The Big Sick tells the story of a Pakistan-born Uber-driver and comedian called Kumail Nanjiani (playing himself) and Emily Gardner (played by Zoe Kazan) who fall in love. It shows us the difficult circumstances of their relationship because of their cultures. His family is very traditional and his parents but mostly his mum wants to force him into an arranged-marriage. The dilemma he has to face, either to live with the women he loves and getting kicked out of his own family or leaving his girl behind and pursuing the life which was planned for him, is written very touching and has a lot of fun moments.

It brings the problem of two cultures clashing into each other to the big screen in a funny and romantic way. But it’s not just that classic culture clash and problems with the parents of the more traditional family. The great thing about this movie is the second act which really elevates this film and helped it to becoming my favourite motion picture of the last year.

In said second act Kumail has, due to a heavy illness of Emily, to spend a lot of time with her parents (played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano). He does not really have to, but he feels the need to do so. Kumail did not know Emily’s parents at this point and so the very first interactions between him and especially Holly Hunter’s character are simply hilarious and extremely depressing at the same time. This second act makes the movie stand out from all the other, often pretty bad, romantic comedies.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a film screening since basically forever. It is a lovely little story, well told within a lovely little movie fully packed with great performances. The screenplay is written by Kumail and his wife which is probably the reason for it to feel so realistic. The dialogues are sweeping and every joke is done on point. It really did feel like a documentary at time, not in a disregarding way towards the actors and actresses but in a positive way in which I really felt involved with this story. Even in the sad scenes or parts of the movie it is always able to put a little smile upon your face.

I think a lot of people are able to relate to Kumail and his issues with his parents, religion and culture. The fear of not living up to the standards which our parents have forced on us is very present. This film touches on so many difficult topics and is still able to sum all of them up into a fantastic romantic comedy without being cliché at any time.

To be honest it does show its flaws within the third act which maybe does go on for a bit too long. But in my opinion this does not matter. I was fully entertained over the course of this two hour long comedy which is able to bring you laughter and tears within seconds.

After watching this movie five times I can fully recommend giving this heart-breaking comedy a try.

Rating: 4/5

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