One of the bigger titles I felt I truly missed out on in 2017, was 'The Big Sick'. Being such a huge fan of '50/50', I thought it would be interesting to see another comedic, but respectful take on serious physical illness. I'm not entirely sure why I let it pass me by, but it did, and it was an easy pick for this month's 2017 catch-up theme.
The story is based on the real-life relationship between stand-up comedian, Kumail Nanjiani (as himself) and Emily V. Gordon (Zoe Kazan). The pair meet during one of Kumail's acts, and they hit it off extremely well. In its portrayal, you can't really help but route for them to make it. They just played so well off each other, you could believe it was real.
Soon, however, a sudden illness takes Emily over, forcing her to be put into a medically-induced coma so that the doctors can get to the bottom of things. During this time, Kumail meets Emily's parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter). In getting to know them better, he finds himself questioning who he is and what he really believes, potentially having to abandon his routes for his happiness.
By the end of it all, I'm happy to say that everyone was right when they told me this was something I was gonna enjoy. I can't help but admire the idea of a movie that takes such serious subject matter (not necessarily stopping at Emily's sickness), and sheds a somewhat pleasant light on it. It doesn't make fun, or make light of the situation, but it does allow its audience to see it as a part of life, and a potential way to deal with things instead of just allowing it to ruin your life.
Speaking for myself, I see this as an all-around feel-good movie, but a somewhat more realistic, slice of life story. Nothing here gets too crazy one way or another, and it handles all of its dark moments with the best sense of humor. The big stand-outs for me were getting to know Emily's parents, and a peek at how difficult some lives can be in some cultures with Kumail's family.
The film ends on a wonderfully bittersweet note, that I assume is based in reality. I won't spoil it for you here, but it is a good way for the story to end with the fact that you can't always have your cake and eat it too... but it's also pretty damn extreme, and I could see audiences being disappointed in it. However, for me, it just amps my admiration for it. I was very happy with the bittersweet ending, as opposed to a sunshine and rainbows ending it could have easily had instead.
If you haven't checked this one out yet, it ends up being a relatively high recommendation from yours truly. I'll even go so far as to say that this parallels '50/50' in its whole atmosphere. It's mainly a comedy, but it still manages to provide a wide range of emotion. It's good to watch for something just deep enough, without having it rack your brain completely.