Two pieces of information preceded my screening of The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s adaptation of their real-life, unconventional love story, and I’m afraid those two pieces of information ultimately impacted my enjoyment of this quite lovely, quite wonderful, modern romantic comedy.
First, I’d come across Nanjiani’s own twitter thread articulating his particular adoration for legendary romcom writer/filmmaker Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love, Actually, and on and on…). I, too, am a massive Richard Curtis fan, having ugly-cried my way through About Time and realizing with delight that my favorite Doctor Who episode is one from his own pen (which, duh. It’s so good, it has to be his.). Curtis has a knack for tugging at heartstrings, and in a way that is entirely noble. It’s never cheap or dumbed-down (well, ok – he did adapt Bridget Jones’s Diary, but not the sequels!). It’s human, and often bittersweet – even painful – much the way real life can be. Decades later, his stories still resonate as some of the best in modern cinema.
I read Nanjiani’s tweets with giddy anticipation. If this filmmaker is as smitten with Curtis as I am, surely his movie will be just as nuanced and moving! Expectations were categorically and sufficiently heightened. Continue reading “Review: The Big Sick”