The Big Sick (2017)
Do you understand that you are exactly attractive enough and thin enough (even if you weigh four hundred pounds) and smart enough and funny enough, even if you cannot tell a knock-knock joke without screwing it up? You are exactly everything enough to the person who thinks you are […] You cannot make a mistake on a date with the right person for you.
— Augusten Burroughs
The best thing about The Big Sick is that it has no regard [or interest] whatsoever to bother with the infuriating, stupid nonsense we all experience in this age of dating apps, unreturned communication, and total rejection disguised as being “busy” (or total rejection disguised as somehow dropping one’s cell phone in water, being too overwhelmed with life like everyone who ever lived is, or forgetting how to create words and press send).
Despite that it takes place in the present, no one gathers their group of friends to decipher vague texts that lead to the inevitable he’s-just-not-that-into-you-so-move-on pep talk we all sometimes *desperately* need. No. This is a love story about people who are actually in love. What an incredible concept! Is there such a thing as a scenario where people answer when you call them and don’t lie and say it went great, then disappear? Is it possible to be liked in a way that doesn’t require further investigation, a backup team of Millennials, or mind games we played back in high school? Yes! It is possible. Even in 2017. Even in a movie that’s a true story.
So the thought I had throughout this entire experience was this: When someone’s in love with you, they are not afraid to show it. So why do we waste so much time trying to figure out motives? People will always show us how they feel. And just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean the evidence isn’t there. The Big Sick is a big reminder of what being in love with someone looks like and what it looks like when someone is in love back. It’s a pure, simple, heartwarming, endearing, unrelenting example of a guy named Kumail Najiani who had the inspired brilliance to write this screenplay with his beautiful wife, Emily Gordon, about their real-life relationship. And the fact that it really happened only confirmed my bottom-line impressions.
Love shows up. Love waits. Love drops you off at home after your date and calls you as soon as you walk in the door. Love meets your parents and wants to meet your parents. Chick flick rom-com movies like How to Be Single just further the narrative of putting scrupulous effort into whether someone likes you or not when all we really have to do is look at their actions. The Big Sick is all about actions, and it’s a powerfully refreshing reality to remember. If you need reminding like I did, go see it. And stop checking your phone every 10 seconds to see if she/he texted back. Kumail and Emily (and I) want you to know that when it’s real, you’ll know it, and you won’t have to wonder again.