The Big Sick ★★★★

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The usual praise and critiques you’ve seen elsewhere, but with (1) a doubling down on Holly Hunter and Ray Romano’s gloriously taking over and (2) emphasizing how this is partly how this film shows its awareness of sidelining its presumed female lead so that the male protagonist can having a Learning Experience.

But the real kicker: In a thematically important moment when we watch things begin to break down in a waiting room, Showalter lets the camera follow Romano and Hunter into what could’ve been a standard two-shot. Instead, Romano turns his back to the camera, going slightly out of focus. The shot holds as Hunter turns toward him (and slightly toward the camera). She slowly moves around him, eyeing him, prowling, letting the gap in their heights show, while the moment (and shot) extends. It’s startling (given the low visual expectation for anything that Judd Apatow can reach with a stick) and beautiful and a small moment of above-averageness that marks this film as very above-average.

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