The Big Sick

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is a young Pakistani American trying to make it as a stand-up comic. He spends his free time making extra money as an Uber driver and getting set up with Pakistani women by his family, in an attempt to arrange a marriage for him. Then his life changes one night when he meets an American girl named Emily (Zoe Kazan). After hooking up the night they meet they start a whirlwind relationship. But Kumail is hiding this relationship from his family, because they would disown him if they found out, and still meeting with the young women who he could potentially marry. When Emily finds this out she confronts Kumail and they break up. Kumail is depressed but felt he had to choose his family and tradition over his feelings for Emily. Then a while later he gets a frantic call in the middle of the night from one of Emily’s friends asking him to go to the Emergency Room and wait with her. When he arrives doctors are wanting to put Emily into an induced coma. With no one else around Kumail stays with Emily. Emily’s parents (played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) show up and know everything that happened between Kumail and Emily. It is uncomfortable but Kumail feel like he needs to stay. He is now struggling with is feelings for Emily and his culture.

The Big Sick is a film telling the real-life story of courtship of Kumail and his real life wife Emily V. Gordon, both of whom wrote screenplay. The Michael Showatler (Hello My Name is Doris) directed film is very funny and smartly paced. There is a good balance of comedy and the serious situations, including dealing with trauma and overcoming cultural differences. The cast is really good, from Hunter and Romano to comedians Aidy Bryant and Kurt Braunohler the supporting roles are really well cast and performed. Zoe Kazan was really good during her time on screen. There were times when I could tell that the dialogue was dubbed over and it was a little distracting, but only a handful of times. I also appreciated the side story of the life of a young comic. It was not a focal point of the movie but it definitely showed how Kumail struggled to become a comic and how life and his family culture sometimes got in the way of his ambition, in both good and bad ways.

Heartwarming and funny this film is original and fun to watch. It was definitely nice to be caught off guard by some really funny moments in the middle of serious situations. It has a run time of 2 hours and 4 minutes with is a little longer than average but really doesn’t feel that long.


4 out of 5