Amongst the flood of Hollywood sequels and blockbusters, it'd be pretty easy to have not heard of The Big Sick.
The trailers are fairly par for the course, and nothing immediately jumped out as being a standout rom-com. Aside from recognizing Kumail Nanjiani from Silicon Valley, and Ray Romano from [everything], the cast was relatively unknown to me. That being said, do not sleep on this one.
For lack of a single better metaphor, the film comes in waves, much like many relationships do. We get to follow a story based on Kumail's actual relationship with Emily Gordon, the tug-of-war with his family life, and one heck of a curve-ball dilemma.
While it is, for the most part, a romantic comedy, it's rooted heavily in drama. It isn't too complex in structure, and follows a standard 3-part act. As we board the roller coaster, we're lifted to the highest of highs when it comes to meeting and connecting with someone new. What's nice is that we get to stay there for a bit, and get a genuine feel that these are everyday relationships that could happen at any moment. At a certain point, we're comfortable.
The intricacies of what makes a significant other—well—significant, couldn't have been portrayed more naturally.
And then we fall.
I won't spoil the main conflict, but it is the title of the movie and is right there in the trailers if you have to know. This is when the movie really kicks into gear. As cozy as we were previously, we're now in an equally discomforting position—and it hits you from all angles. Kumail suddenly has to deal with the flurry of piecing together his relationship, challenging the viewpoints that Emily's parents have of him, all while being weighed down by his commitments to his family and career.
This entire second act makes up about 70 percent of the movie, and it's a heavy one. Luckily each character has at least a handful of memorable moments, and not one person feels unnecessary to the story's whole. In what was presumed to be a fairly unimaginative genre, there were quite a few pleasant surprises that either got a laugh out of me, or had me clasping my hand over my mouth.
tldr; should you see it? Yes!
While not a lot of things happen, the movie gradually weighs you down up until an eventual point of respite. As we reach the end of the film's ride, we get to our resolution—it feels fulfilling in the sense that it was earned. The Big Sick is a tender, bittersweet film. It'll play with your emotions because it's well aware of its cast members' knockout performances. I say go for the ride, but like many audience members that I overheard, you might shed a few tears.
1-2: Horrendous, wouldn’t recommend watching even if free of charge.
3-4: Potentially has some good ideas, but overall still lackluster.
5-6: Average, a decently good time; go see it if it's free.
7-8: A solid recommendation, and well-rounded film; warrants a purchase after home release.
9: No glaring flaws; deserves to be watched multiple times.
10: Masterful, must-see; filmmaking at its finest.