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The Big Sick

An awkward true story 

Year: 2017 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 (Wide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Michael Showalter 
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter  
An image from The Big Sick

The Big Sick, a refreshingly original romantic comedy, is one of the funniest films of the year.

When his traditional Muslim family isn’t trying to set up an arranged marriage for him, Kumail Nanjiani, playing a semi-fictionalised version of himself, is an aspiring stand-up comedian and part-time Uber driver living a fairly typical life in Chicago. He falls for Emily, a grad student played by Zoe Kazan, but his reluctance to commit, caused by his fear that his family will disown him if he marries an American, leads to problems in their relationship. However, when Emily develops a mystery illness and is put into a medically induced coma, Kumail is forced to spend time with and get to know her parents.

Nanjiani does a terrific job throughout the film, not only landing all of his jokes well but also playing the emotional scenes particularly effectively. Additionally, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano put in great, authentic performances as Emily’s parents, especially in their hilariously awkward encounters with Kumail.

Despite its dark subject matter, with a large focus on culture clashes, relationship breakdowns and illness, The Big Sick is overall an incredibly funny and heart-warming tale about love, friendship and family that manages to bring something new and exciting to the romantic comedy genre.

Iain Walker

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Autumn Term (digital)