Michael Showalter's The Big Slick effectively traverses the indie dramedy's need to strike the right balance between its comedic and dramatic elements, delivering a film that is neither forceful in its humor nor didactic in its sentimentality or storytelling, delivering a surprisingly poignant piece of filmmaking that touches on some existential truths about love, life, and family. Written and starring Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick is based off the exploits of his own life as a Pakistani immigrant in America, his struggles to make it in the field of stand up comedy and his attempt to find love, often conflicting with his Muslin parents whom wish for him to have a more practical profession and marry a woman who is arranged through the traditional practices of their faith. The Big Sick is a film that is best going into knowing as little as possible about the narrative, as it evolves in organic and surprising ways, as we follow Kumail's budding relationship with Emily, a graduate student he meets after one of his shows, who currently is the actor's wife in real life. The Big Slick doesn't really adhere to the traditional genre classifications of even dramedy or romantic comedy, achieving a level of success not seen by most of those films due to its ability to touch on a host of fascinating assertions about identity, love, and family. A personal story, The Big Sick's ability to touch on the strain which culture can place on identity is genuine, showcasing how culture and birthplace are significant to identity but how they can never, and should never, define who one is as a individual. The Big Slick exhibits this type of cultural tribalism which is destructive almost always from all sides of the situation, a dogmatic ideal in a lot of ways which restricts and individual from doing what they believe is the right thing to do, often suppressed by their group identity. While never didactic in this assertion, The Big Slick is also a film about living in the moment, showcasing how one must at times not let others or outside influences dictate what one does with one's life, exhibiting how selfcare and individualism are not selfish but essential due to the fragile nature of our existence in the grand scheme of things. The Big Sick is heartfelt and charming, with strong performances from everyone involved, especially from Holly Hunter an Ray Romano as Emily's Parents, who add another layer to the film, with the film using them to peer deeper into its examination of what it trutly means to love. Tender in its deconstruction of what love truly is, The Big Slick is an impressive film which manages to elevate itself above mere genre classifications, delivering a personal story which at times taps into the true nature of what it means to live.
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