Critics are hailing The Big Sick as “one of the best movies of the year” and “a traditional rom-com that’s so original,” but I have to be honest with you… it was pretty cut and dry for me. It works, it’s good, but it’s nothing that’s breaking the mold for me. It was just… a good movie. I didn’t leave upset that I had spent money to see it in theatres, but I didn’t leave overwhelmed with passion for how great the movie was (ahem, Baby Driver)… I left saying, “It was… good!”
It was funny and I did, I laughed a lot. I thought both leads (Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan) were really great – their acting was enjoyable and their chemistry was really robust – but the plot was formulaic, even with the cross-cultural dilemma thrown in there. I will give it that – I learned some things about Pakistan that I, admittedly, didn’t know. Before now, I had no idea that Pakistan had the largest irrigation system in the world… but aside from being educational, I wasn’t… moved. I get what it was trying to do and I get that it’s his and his wife’s real life story, but it just wasn’t really all that touching to me.
I couldn’t help but feel that it was just another romantic comedy. A critic (the name is escaping me now) compared it to Annie Hall… I believe he said “for the ISIS age,” and that’s just insane… I don’t think it should be compared to Annie Hall. Annie Hall was and is iconic. That’s a rom-com that breaks the mold. A rom-com full of neuroses. They tried to do the neurotic thing with Emily, but it just didn’t really work.
I appreciate that Kumail did this, he made a film that normalizes and includes Muslim and Pakistani culture. That’s great, and that’s a wonderful thing, but if you take that out of the equation, it’s just another rom-com that I could take or leave. It was just… okay. It was nothing super special and if I could do it again, I’d probably wait to see it on Netflix.