Tag Archive: ray romano

The Big Sick

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Some movies make it through the festival rounds, find a distributor, and hit it big.

They are called sleeper hits or big surprises or revelations. They make us think while finding a common denominator that everyone can relate to.

I picked up one of these types of movies, not knowing if I would like it or not.

The Big Sick starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazen is described as a romantic comedies of sorts.

big-sickThe story line is about a Pakistani stand-up comic and Uber driver who meets an American grad student one night at one of his shows. They sort of hit it off, decide not to date, and then begin to do exactly that. Meanwhile his mother is constantly trying to fix him up with Pakistani women so that he can marry and have a traditional family.

The problem is he has fallen in love with Emily, who is definitely not Pakistani. He puts off having her meet his family until she breaks up with him. Once faced with the end of their relationship, it gets worse. Much worse. Suddenly Kumail must figure life out also getting to know her parents as Emily is in a coma.

In case you have not figured it out, this not a movie for little kids. We have sexual situations, swearing, and scenes dealing with huge illness and family dynamics that are not always happy. Even contextually, this is not a movie little kids are going to want to watch. I would guess since there are no car chases or explosions a few big kids will not be interested either.

But don’t let that stop you. People in my house were surprised that they actually liked it because this seemed to be more of a chick flick. You have an unlikely couple falling in love, facing family differences, and being challenged. What keeps this from being a soupy mess is the heart and challenges faced beyond the big illness displayed by actors Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.

Big sick 2One scene that I especially loved was Kumail getting challenged by a Pakistani woman, who could be a good match for him, for not being honest with her. Both characters are leading lives that are outside of the definitions of their family and culture, both are searching for meaning within and beyond those constraints. But she is demanding something even more elusive. It is both painful honest and stunningly accurate.

What I love is that we are never hit with the frying pan of knowledge. This movie allows us to figure things out. It doesn’t move in the direction of most romantic comedies with obvious montages and giddy simplicity. Like most great romantic comedies, it explores a different issue beyond the love plot line. In this case, why one moves to a different country and then expects to have all of the old customs.

This movie has seen some awards come its way and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes some nominations and awards at Oscar time.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


When I received the invite to see a preview screening of Ice Age: Continental Drift, I knew right away that only one of my children was going to see the movie with me.

That was going to be my seven-year-old boy.

I have an eleven-year-old and fifteen-year-old as well but they have become too old for this movie series. My daughter might have been interested because of the storyline involving Peaches who is now a young teenager. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

In this movie, we are dealing with a new problem for the herd consisting of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo). The land mass is changing, greatly. Mountains and cliffs are rising or pushing forward.

The only hint that this might happen is when Sid’s family suddenly show up and leave Grandma (Wanda Sykes) behind without her teeth. A comment is made about the world changing but that is not their main concern.  Our herd does not worry until they start hearing some rumblings.

Manny still has time to tell his daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), that she is not hanging out with the cool mammoths. And she still has time to fight back. That is until another rumble begins to physically change their world and separates the three males from the herd. Manny vows to get back to his family while Ellie leads the rest of the herd to what appears to be a safe place.

Manny faces down a pirate crew in a life -or-death battle while Peaches takes on peer pressure during a march that could mean life or death.

Funny enough, it is Sid who says it best about these movies when trying to describe the dinosaur adventure when he says it doesn’t seem likely but it was great fun.

I could pick apart this movie, talk about the stories being tried and true, that a few characters need to examine their souls and where they stand in life. I could talked about the laughably bad musical number that introduces the pirates and the teen drama that plays like it always does.

But what an Ice Age movie is about is really the fun of it all. The fun of out-witting the bad guy, the action of the 3D as characters fly over ice or through the water, and cute cuddly creatures that are brave when it counts. That is what makes it fun for the kids.

What made it fun for me, the mom who is sitting there with the kid, were the silly little moments.  Such as the irrelevant question as the herd begins their journey to the land bridge. Or how Manny knows when he is being tricked by a group of monsters. Or when Peaches finally stands up for herself.

I enjoyed Wanda Sykes as Grandma and Jennifer Lopez was not too distracting as Shira. I loved the badger as a pirate flag and the whole nutty ‘Atlantis’ section.

While the 3D is OK and makes things pop out, it does not add to the movie going experience all that much for me. At least this time around the glasses were not too annoying.

Would I watch this movie again? Not really. It is OK for a fun night with the kids and I would not be overly bored with it. But Ice Age:Continental Drift does not have the underlying issues that makes me want to watch others movies such as Toy Story or Shrek over and over again.

It is a movie that is great for family time, just a little touchy-feeling at times, but with plenty of action to make you forget about that stuff.

(2 Stars)