Comas and Comedy: A Movie Review of The Big Sick

I have a constant, never ending list of movies I want to see. Watching trailers in the theater before a movie, seeing buzz on Twitter, or simply hearing about a great movie makes this list ever changing and never ending. The problem is, I never seem to take any off the list. Some trailers can totally captivate me, making me want to watch that movie immediately, but a few minutes go by and I forget all about it. For whatever reason, I just cannot bring myself to sit down and watch a full movie no matter how badly I wanted to see it. But every so often, a dazzling moment occurs when the stars align and I finally get the long-awaited opportunity to sit down and watch a movie on my long-neglected list. This week, it was The Big Sick.

When I first saw this movie was released on Amazon Prime, I was ecstatic! Here it was, a movie I had wanted so badly to see, on a platform I could access at my own convenience and from the comfort of my bed. How long did it take for me to finally watch it? A solid 5 months. Although when I finally did watch this movie, I kicked myself for not watching it sooner.

The story is based on the true life of comedian, actor, and co-writer of the film, Kumail Nanjiani, and his wife and fellow co writer, Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani and Gordon met back in 2007 and after roughly five months of dating, they had a falling out and broke up. A few weeks after their breakup, Gordon was admitted to the hospital and placed into a medically induced coma for eight days. Nanjiani spent those eight days with Gordon’s parents, who knew about the breakup and were not fans of Nanjiani at first. However, throughout the duration of Gordon’s coma, Nanjiani and Gordon’s parents form an unexpected bond in a time of crisis and bittersweet hilarity, filled with cultural differences, awkward moments and air mattress sleepovers.

Spoiler alert--Emily Gordon eventually wakes up from her coma and ends up alive and well. This is good for both her family and for theatre-goers, as the film she and Nanjiani wrote stands as a beautiful, funny, and touchingly honest portrayal of not only their relationship, but of all modern relationships. In a time during which we re-evaluate our favorite movies to see if they perpetuate the idea men are hunters and women are prey, this movie can perhaps be one of a new kind where both characters are real, relatable, flawed humans, both equally wonderful to watch.

The real Emily V. Gordon, who co-wrote “The Big Sick” and her husband Kumail Nanjiani, who also co-wrote and stars in the movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to everyone, but especially to fans of traditional romantic comedies. I hope future romcoms follow this style of honest, realistic  transparency of what it means to date in the 21st century. Hopefully, art will influence life and people will be able laugh more, be more truthful, and treat each other with the respect, care, and gentle hilarity we all strive for when dating.