ON SCREEN // HOP FILM
The Big Sick
This hilarious indie comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani tells the true story of his troubled romance with co-writer Emily Gordon.
Produced by Judd Apatow, this hilarious true story of the troubled romance between Pakistani-born comic Kumail Nanjiani and his co-writer Emily Gordon “insists that you keep on laughing” (NYT). When Emily and Kumail hook up after one of his stand-up gigs, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing. This complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his Muslim family, who expect him to follow the tradition of arranged marriage. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, Kumail is forced to navigate the medical crisis with her parents (a perfectly paired Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.
D: Michael Showalter, US, 2017, 2h
In addition to the whip-smart humor and nonstop laughter which makes this the must-see comedy of the summer, the film has also generated a bit of controversy. Some viewers have praised it for its Pakistani-born leading man—but others have criticized the way it fails to portray the Pakistani women characters as equally complex, modern and winning.
Films that tackle issues of representation on screen are often held to a very high standard, since the few movies that put people of color front-and-center have to make it count. We believe that, while The Big Sick may have some shortcomings, it does an excellent job at using humor to critique racial intolerance; Holly Hunter brings down the house in one of these moments.
And many people greatly appreciated seeing themselves represented on screen here. This article in the New York Times offers one example.
—Sydney and Johanna, Hop Film