Part 15: The Big Sick

“Apparently, there are good and bad comas. And the kind that they put her in – the medically induced ones – are definitely the good kind of coma. Like, you know how there are good and bad carbs? Gremlins – those can be good or bad.” – Kumail Nanjiani, as himself, in The Big Sick



Best Original Screenplay

Basic Plot

This flick is mostly a true story about the courtship (sorry, I cannot think of a better word so dropping ‘courtship’ old-school style) of comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon.  It takes you through the cultural struggles they faced with their relationship and the sudden and mysterious illness that left Emily in a coma.  Sure you can call this one a romcom, but I prefer to refer to it as a romdramcom. You heard it first here, folks.

My Largely Irrelevant Commentary

Quick trip back to the Winter Olympics…

Women’s Halfpipe finals…that Chloe Kim is insanely talented.  INSANELY TALENTED.  Love it when you see an athlete beat their own top score during your victory lap….by over 5 points.  Great seeing two (almost 3) gals from Team USA grab some medals (gold and bronze).  Kelly Clark came in 4th and she’s a snowboarding legend, who by the way is participating in her 5th fricken Olympics!  Insanity.  If you want to see what real camaraderie amongst competitors is like in sports – watch the snowboarding events.  It’s refreshing to see – hugs all around (literally) to the snowboarders.


Chloe Kim – yes, she is upside down

Shaun White. WOW…WOW…WOW!!!


gold medal number 3

Somewhat related to the movie…let’s talk about what an original screenplay is, since that’s what this one was nominated for. It’s basically a script or screenplay that’s not based any previously published material…making it…well, making it ”original.”  This is basically a category made for Woody Allen films if you were looking for an alternate definition.

The Acting

Great cast in this film – Kumail, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and a few funny folks you might recognize from SNL and the stand-up scene. Not all stand-ups can or will act, but Kumail seems to be a natural, albeit he’s acting out his own life story. As most big name stand-ups do, Kumail has perfect timing on his comedic moments.  The scenes with his family are so fantastic and are some of the best in the movie.  Zoe Kazan is sweet and witty in her role of Emily Gordon, but Holly Hunter absolutely steals the show in her supporting role as Emily’s mother.  She plays off Ray Romano’s (Emily’s dad) typical quirky humor effortlessly, but she also stands on her own in just a solid performance of a well-written character.  She has some mad scene-stealing game!  If ever there was an Oscar snub, Holly Hunter is one of them.  She should have been nominated in the supporting actress category in my opinion for this role.


Kumail Nanjiani & Holly Hunter

The Film

I love it when a movie is so well written that it can blend hilarious and heartfelt so well that it makes sense.  And it’s not surprising that this one has done that as it’s written by Kumail Nanjiani whose a very talented and very funny stand-up comedian, and his wife-in-real-life Emily Gordon, and produced by Judd Apatow.  Kumail is a Pakistani and comes from a very traditional family where marriages are arranged and stand-up isn’t the job parents want their kids to have. The cultural challenges of the film are timely, although I doubt that was their intention in writing the film.  But it’s just a smart romdramcom with a real-life heartwarming story.

Bottom line – In a refreshing take on the age-old romcom, this is a really wonderful, charming, witty, and intelligent movie.  I would have liked to have seen it up for Best Picture but I’m sure the romcom category doesn’t garner it much attention for a nomination in the Best Picture field (insert eye roll here).  I think this one got snubbed in a couple of categories, so I’m rooting for it on original screenplay.  I’m a sucker for stand-up and smart comedies, and this is one of my favorite movies of 2017…give it a watch, it’s a great story!

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