Love isn’t easy, that’s why they call it love…
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano
A RomCom about a man who bonds with his ex-girlfriends parents while she’s in a coma.
Hey, folks have been craving something original from Hollywood and here ya go! Oh, it actually sounds a lot like While You Were Sleeping? I guess you could say that but I promise there will never be a moment during this film where you start thinking about Sandra Bullock in the middle of a Chicago winter. Crap! This movie takes place during a Chicago winter…ok, forget I ever mentioned Sleeping.
This film is actually based on a true story. Told through the eyes of the man who actually lived it – Kumail Nanjiani. Written by he and his real life wife Emily Gordon, the movie tells the tale of how they met and began dating before Emily falls into a medically induced coma due to a serious infection. In the film Emily is played wonderfully by Zoe ‘can rock some bangs’ Kazan. The chemistry between Nanjiani and Kazan makes you wonder how amazing Nanjianis real life marriage must be. On screen these two actors work extremely well together. You’re quickly rooting for them to get together and start getting serious as a couple. Anyone who has ever dated, especially recently, will be able to relate to so many scenarios and fun conversations these two have with each other during their getting to know you phase.
They hit a speed bump when family and religion come into play. Kumail hasn’t told his family he even has a girlfriend because of fear of disownment. They are very traditional Muslim family and would frown upon he dating a white woman who hasn’t been arranged for him. This drives a wedge between Emily and Kumails relationship causing her to take a break.
Timing couldn’t be worse as Emily winds up in the hospital with a mysterious infection. The physicians decide she needs to be put into a medically induced coma to help her body fix the problem.
This is where the heart of the film actually appears. Yes Kumail is able to see exactly how much he truly loved Emily, but he also realizes more about himself. He meets Emily’s parents for the first time and it doesn’t go so smoothly. They’re not very big fans of him because of the recent breakup with their daughter, but this doesn’t stop Kumail from staying by Emily’s side. At the risk of losing his family and his job he persists to stay with Emily and her parents while she is sick. Slowly her parents are able to see what type of man Kumail is and accept him into their lives.
The relationship between Kumail and Emily’s parents is what drives the film. Both parents are played fantastically by Holly ‘that southern accent gets me every time’ Hunter and Ray ‘everybody loves me’ Romano. I can’t decide which one of these two actors names we’ll see more of during awards season time, both are quite deserving. Kumail is able to see a different type of parenting love that unconditionally comes from Emilys parents. He also takes a look into a couple that were able to choose each other and stay together despite the challenges of marriage and many years together. Her parents are also reminded of what it was like to be in love so strongly and blindly like Kumail is for their daughter. It helps renew and strengthen their own feelings for each other even at such a later age.
It’s not a spoiler to tell you Emily recovers because you already read above that the film was written by the real life Emily. Yet, it does a great job of making you still question if they do wind up together and how. Emily wakes from her coma still mad at Kumail and it takes more than her mothers recommendation to help her get over it.
Who do you love and how much do you love them? Is it enough to stay by their side during their darkest hour even after they pushed you away? What if its someone you’ve already spent half your life with but they hurt you badly? What if its your family? How do you choose one love over another?
This film reaches into your heart and makes you think about the ones you love and appreciate each of them. The acting is more than solid from top to bottom. I’m not sure I was a big fan of the standup routines from each of the standup actors, but I almost feel as if they purposely didn’t do their best material to drive home how they started out as comedians. I didn’t find the film hilariously knee slapping as some folks have claimed, but it still has more than it’s share of moments.
I fully recommend seeing The Big Sick. I extra recommend snuggling up on the couch with a loved one when you do.
8 out of 10