The Big Sick

The Big Sick

Michael Showalter (2017)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Only two things about this boundary-pushing but still effortlessly charming romantic comedy are typical for a Judd Apatow production: a) it takes place in Chicago's stand-up scene, and, b) it's at least 15 minutes too long. It stars Kumail Nanjiani as himself, and is based on his own true story about falling in love with a white girl, Emily (Zoe Kazan), which he knows will upset his strict Muslim family. Kumail tries to keep the affair secret, fending off his mother's attempts to arrange a marriage, and it seems their cultural differences are too great for the relationship, but when Emily falls ill with a mystery illness and has to be put into a medically induced coma, he realises that he's serious about her and has to step up. Like many true stories, the material doesn't quite sustain a two-hour movie, but the script - co-written by Nanjiani with the real-life Emily - is often laugh-out-loud funny, bravely fencing with interracial tensions in post-9/11 America. Really, though, it's just an old-fashioned love story - and it works.


A struggling stand-up comedian proves a hit with a student heckler, but their affair ends just before a mystery illness puts the object of his affections in a coma. Finding himself absorbed with Emily's care and bonding with her sparring parents, Kumail also has to struggle with his own Muslim relatives and their expectations. Romantic comedy, starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.

Cast & Crew

Kumail Kumail Nanjiani
Emily Gardner Zoe Kazan
Beth Gardner Holly Hunter
Terry Gardner Ray Romano
Azmat Anupam Kher
Sharmeen Zenobia Shroff
Naveed Adeel Akhtar
CJ Bo Burnham
Mary Aidy Bryant
Chris Kurt Braunohler
Director Michael Showalter
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Other Information

Language: English, Urdu +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalGuidance: SwearingAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 28 Jul 2017