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The Big Sick (2017)

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Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.


Michael Showalter
1,200 ( 349)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 92 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kumail Nanjiani ... Kumail
Zoe Kazan ... Emily
Holly Hunter ... Beth
Ray Romano ... Terry
Anupam Kher ... Azmat
Zenobia Shroff ... Sharmeen
Adeel Akhtar ... Naveed
Bo Burnham ... CJ
Aidy Bryant ... Mary
Kurt Braunohler ... Chris
Vella Lovell ... Khadija
Myra Lucretia Taylor Myra Lucretia Taylor ... Nurse Judy
Jeremy Shamos ... Bob Dalavan
David Alan Grier ... Andy Dodd
Ed Herbstman ... Sam Highsmith


Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), in the middle of becoming a budding stand-up comedian, meets Emily (Zoe Kazan). Meanwhile, a sudden illness sets in forcing Emily to be put into a medically-induced coma. Kumail must navigate being a comedian, dealing with tragic illness, and placating his family's desire to let them fix him up with a spouse, while contemplating and figuring out who he really is and what he truly believes Written by Brett Lee Swerbilow (brettswerbilow@gmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An Awkward True Story


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Urdu

Release Date:

14 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Sick See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$421,577, 25 June 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$42,872,467, 19 October 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,328,624, 21 August 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Composer Michael Andrews had worked with producer Judd Apatow before on the films Bridesmaids (2011) and Funny People (2009) as well as the shows Undeclared (2001) and Freaks and Geeks (1999). See more »


The scene where Emily says she wants to go to a coffee shop has a digital clock where the time moves back and forth. See more »


Emily: I didn't heckle you, just woo-hoo'd you. It's supportive.
Kumail: Okay, that's a common misconception. Yelling anything at a comedian is considered heckling. Heckling doesn't have to be negative.
Emily: So, if I... if I yelled out like... *you're amazing in bed*, that'd be a heckle?
Kumail: Yeah. It would be an accurate heckle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the beginning of the end credits, photos of shown of the real-life inspiration behind the Emily character, as well as the wedding between Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and Nanjiani's real-life parents. See more »


References Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) See more »


Good Woman
Written by Lenis Guess and Marco Jacobo
Performed by Maker
See more »

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User Reviews

'The Big Sick' is brilliant in an unpretentious and unconventional way
9 July 2017 | by ankurd-56541See all my reviews

I hate it when I go to a movie with high expectations and it fails to meet them. This happened recently with the movie "Baby Driver" which had left me a bit underwhelmed and disappointed. So, when I was booking my tickets for "The Big Sick" I was a bit apprehensive and unsure. The trailer looked like it could be a very different and funny movie. I hoped that it was not one of those 'make- a-great-trailer-to-get-the-audience-into-buying-the-ticket' movie. Thank God! The movie overwhelmed me in every possible way!

'The Big Sick' is brilliant in an unpretentious and unconventional way but at the same time it is very true to it's genre. It's fearless and talk about certain issues in a very refreshing way. The characters are real and super believable. You don't have the conventionally good looking romantic couple doing the predictable cheesy things on screen and its fresh to see that.

This is an autobiographical story of Kumail Nanjiani (plays himself) and his wife Emily V Gordon (Zoe Kazan). Kumail is in his 30s, a struggling standup comedian in chicago. He is a Pakistani Muslim. He was 14 when his family immigrated to the US. His family is very religious and believes in praying and expects their son to do an arranged marriage to a bride selected by them. His mother (Zenobia Shroff) has been relentlessly trying to find a match for her son with a Muslim Pakistani girl.

During one of his comedy gigs he get 'heckled' by Emily, a white American girl who cannot be more different from him and his family. Both of them hit if off immediately. They try to end the relationship as a fling but cant help falling in love and start dating. They eventually have a fight and have a half breakup. Shortly after Emily is admitted to the hospital and put into a medically induced coma. Kumail stands by her during this time and informs her parents to come by. The rest of the story is about how Kumail and Emily's parent interact and how Emily struggles with the 'Big Sick'. Don't get me wrong the movie never gets even a little bit sad.

Kumail Nanjiani is so good in this movie playing himself. He has redefined how the Hollywood leading man in a romantic comedy should be like. Zoe Kazan is great and shares a good chemistry with Kumail. The third most important cast of the movie are the parents of Kumail and Emily. Zenobia Shroff and Anupam Kher plays the perfect Pakistani parents. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are just brilliant in the movie. Such effortless and real acting by these two pair. Kumail's elder brother played by Adeel Akhtar does a great job. Their sister played by Shenaz Treasurywalla has very few lines but looks apt in the role. Kumail's three buddies played by Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant and Kurt Braunohler complement the comedy excellently,

The writing by Kumail and his wife Emily Gordon is masterful. It is the real star of this movie. Michael Showalter's direction does justice to the writing.

After a very long time I saw a rom-com I loved thoroughly and that's why I cant stop raving about this one. This is a breakout movie and a new benchmark has been set.

Also published on my website - www.storiesofheart.com

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