The Big Sick

The Big Sick ★★★★

Terry: Let me give you some advice, Kumail. Love isn’t easy. That’s why they call it love.
Kumaill: I don’t really get that.
Terry: I know. I thought I could just start saying something and something smart would come out.

Love isn't easy. It's painfully honest and awkward sometimes. The Big Sick is punctuated with these moments of vulnerability, which call its characters to be true to themselves. The unfortunate reality is that these moments, as well-intentioned as they may be, always have the potential to hurt someone else. Following your heart and chasing your dream job may drive a wedge between you and your family; withholding information to protect someone can sow seeds of distrust in a relationship; and professing your love to someone may result in rejection. What I appreciate most about The Big Sick is its even-handed portrayal of both joy and heartache in relationships.

Our heart can ache even as it races, and one of the best scenes that captures this contradiction is during the conversation between Kumail and his father at the end of the film. We can sense his parents' fiercely dedicated love seeping through, but we are also aware that they are grieving the loss of the version of their son they had hoped he would become. In that one moment, we are able to experience empathy for both characters simultaneously, and the only appropriate response seems to be:

Love isn’t easy. That’s why they call it love.

The Big Sick is a wonderfully acted and unconventional love story that explores meaningful themes such as commitment to one's family, dealing with illness, honesty, and challenges of immigrating to another country. As someone who is often turned off by rom-coms, this was a refreshing and intelligent take on the genre!

Trevor liked these reviews