The Daily Cup 40 The Big Sick

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

Romantic comedies are a genre that can be a real mixed bag. Like any genre that can be made for a low budget (looking at you horror) there is plenty of chaff out there to sort through. When you find a truly great film in one of these prolific genres it’s always a treat. The concept of romantic comedies is great, people love to laugh, and love is an really cool thing. The Big Sick (2017) is a truly great film that just happens to be a romantic comedy.

Written by the husband and wife duo Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon the film is the story of how they met and fell in love. Such a premise could easily be ham fisted and saccharine, but the script and execution of the story is so elegant and human, a testament to the quality of the script and the skill of the director Michael Showalter.

Kumail meets Emily after a comedy show after a awkward confrontation about heckling, then a clumsy filtration from Kumail. They begin dating and their love story feels very real and rooted, not a Hollywood story at all. They have quirks, they pester each other, and have conversations about silly things like mattresses and bad movies. In one particularly funny scene Emily tries to sneak out of Kumail’s apartment in the middle of the night so she can poop. She’s too embarrassed to do so in Kamail's tiny apartment. This is such a relatable and funny moment, one of many that add to the genuine nature of this story.

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The story really gets interesting after Kumail and Emily break up in a fight after Emily finds the box full of photos and bios of all the Pakistani women Kumail’s family is trying to arrange a marriage with. She realizes that he’s never told his family about her, and they very likely could never have a future together, that is something devastating when it’s someone you love and the future looks bleak. Shortly after the breakup Kumail gets a call from one of Emily’s friends finding out she is very ill in the hospital. Without any local family Kumail goes there to help out, and signs doctor a recommended order to induce a coma to save Emily’s life. Eventually Emily’s parents arrive from out of town. At first combative with Kumail (who just recently broke their daughter’s heart) the trio bond in their care of Emily, and all three spend significant time with each other and at Emily’s side in the hospital. Emily finally recovers and we have a happy ending.

You can’t sing the praises of this film without talking about the cast. Kumail Nanjiani plays himself, and does an excellent job of being very real and vulnerable in this film. The best scenes with Kumail are with his Pakistani family, where he struggles with bucking tradition of arranged marriage, and then confronts the problem and deals with the fallout. Zoe Kazan plays Emily, and exudes real powerful emotion, and each scene she is in she truly steals. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are fantastic as Emily’s parents, they are a true joy to watch on screen.

Very deserving of its Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, The Big Sick is a touchingly wonderful film. It’s a love story with real people facing real conflict, and real choices that will be relatable to most people. The performances are strong throughout, and stand up comedy fans will be treated to some great cameos. This is a film that should top any list of adorable and great love stories.

Movies new to me watched: 31/292

Other movies: 9/73

Total movies watched: 40/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at or on Twitter at @kbdekker.