N A V I
G A T E

Home
A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Links
Contact Me

Big Sick, The

Director:  Michael Showalter
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  1.5

Mediocre stand-up comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) has a 'cute' encounter with psych grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan), they decide to date for a few months, she discovers a cigar box filled with pictures of single Pakistani women Kumail's mom keeps making him meet and dumps him - a little later, Emily becomes ill with a mysterious disease and Kumail sticks by her (coma-induced) side (along with her parents, played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter). I realize this is based on a true story, but there's something artificial and too familiar about the presentation: since it was produced by Judd Apatow, it feels like past work of his (and has similar pacing issues) and the Kumail-Emily relationship comes across as less authentic than the Romano-Hunter marriage (Ray's confession of his cheating is definitely a 'real' moment). Kumail is too smug to identify with: he tosses aside the Pakistani women as if they're nothing (he doesn't even try to be kind to any of them) and is unaware his one-man-show and 'jokes' thud hard (you can "be American" and still treat your heritage with respect). It's mostly a drama with precious little comedy ... unless you find Bo Burnham's snide remarks to be real knee-slappers (Bo's specials, on the other hand, are pleasantly theatrical).

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2018 Matthew Lotti.