Film Review: The Big Sick Cures All
I don’t go to the movies that much anymore, regrettably. Which is weird because there once was a point where movies became a major form of escapism for me, much like I’m sure they are for others. I suppose movies always provided me with a false sense of relief, for lack of a better adjective. For those 120+ minutes, I was placed in the middle of someone else’s world. It was great. Going to the movies was also a great place to go when I needed a break from humanity as I would tend to go to them by myself and before any Internet weirdos attempt to pass a naive judgment about someone who goes to the movies by themselves, try it for yourself sometime. It’s great.
Over the past few years, however, I would usually just wait until a half decent bootleg version of a movie arrived in my email inbox and I would just watch that while multitasking with five other things at a time (allegedly). That was until this summer where I have spent a considerable amount of time casually passing through the carpeted walls of my local movie theater. Not much has changed, aside from inflated ticket prices, and I can still sneak into whichever movie I’d like, much like I did during most of the college years I spent living on a very tight budget.
This past weekend, I got a chance to go see The Big Sick as it finally arrived at the theater in my city after weeks of promotion due to the film’s relatively independent production. I spent a number of months waiting for this film as Kumail Nanjiani is a favorite of mine, much in part to his role on HBO’s Silicon Valley, and you can pretty much blindfold yourself and pick any movie you want from Zoe Kazan’s catalog and it’s sure to be great. That’s not even to mention the fact that Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play the parental roles of Kazan’s character and the film was produced by Judd Apatow. Suffice to say, The Big Sick is one of the best cast films I can think of in recent memory.
By all standards, The Big Sick is technically a “rom-com” but I struggle to place the film in that category as it lacks pretty much all of the cheesiness that all rom-com’s tend to have. If I had to describe The Big Sick, the film is more of a comedy about love. I would even struggle to say the film is solely about love, though, as it also tackles issues like religious standards and lightly treads a few societal norms, too. I mean, there was even a scene where Nanjiani, Romano, and Hunter share a scene and make a light 9/11 joke that actually didn’t make you feel bad for laughing at, for once. Not that I’m saying a good film is based on the strength or weakness of their 9/11 jokes but, for some films, you can’t be afraid to go certain places if you’re doing so for the right reason.
Now, the whole point of this article was to share what the film meant to me. We all have different reasons for seeing the movies we decide to spend our time with and no reason is that much different from the other. Like I said, I was anxious to see The Big Sick because not only was it based on a true story, it was based on the true story of how Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, met and spent their first year together, and was also written by the couple, as well.
At age 26, films are less about their ability to transport me into someone else’s world and more about their ability to make someone else’s world feel like mine. That may only make sense to a few people who read this so the main point I’m trying to make is this; I want films to still have a sense of realism to them. Cars flying over buildings, superheroes fighting aliens, and everything in between is great at face value but only really curb a certain appetite in my creative soul. Movies like The Big Sick not only curb that appetite but light another one at the same time.
I’ve struggled these past few weeks; creatively, emotionally, mentally, and somewhat physically. Some would say it’s the stars, others would say “snap out of it,” for me, it’s just one of those things I get used to and know I will break out of the loop, eventually. Whether it be a good book, a good album, or, in this case, a good movie.
Underneath all of the obvious layers in The Big Sick, the movie reminded me of certain beliefs I’ve always had but often forgot about. You know, those childhood dreams and aspirations that you tend to forget about as the struggles of everyday life start to corner you and force you to choose a direction. The Big Sick reminded me that people won’t always understand your reasons for doing something and they might even completely disagree with your decision. They may even disagree with your decision so much that they isolate you because they want you to learn one of those “hard knock lessons” on your own. Little do they know, however, that your personal greatness is on the other side of your comfort zone. So, while your particular life path may look completely different from theirs, you’re in search of the same thing, in some regard. The Big Sick reminded me that sometimes we will make the wrong decision but the lesson is found in learning and ascension begins with understanding. Lastly, The Big Sick reminded me that there are certain people in your life who you don’t want to let another second go by without them knowing how you truly feel about them and life can be incredibly short so it’s best you just lay all of your cards out on the table.
We all take different things from the content we consume so whatever I learned from watching The Big Sick may likely be entirely different from whatever you take away from the film. However, I think we will both agree that it was the best $9.50 we’ve spent after seeing it.