The Big Sick

Critics Consensus

Funny, heartfelt, and intelligent, The Big Sick uses its appealing leads and cross-cultural themes to prove the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore.



Total Count: 288


Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,383
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Movie Info

Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. THE BIG SICK is directed by Michael Showalter (HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS) and producer by Judd Apatow (TRAINWRECK, THIS IS 40) and Barry Mendel (TRAINWRECK, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS).

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Critic Reviews for The Big Sick

All Critics (288) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (283) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for The Big Sick

  • May 16, 2018
    What starts like a fresh take on the old "When Harry met Sally" premise soon gets a pretty dramatic and unexpected twist, and ultimately turns out to be based on true events. Every minute in between is funny, sad and very true. Likable, realistic characters and a great script make this a romantic comedy highlight of recent years, while tackling cultural differences and low key racism at the same time. Outstanding.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2018
    The best thing The Big Sick has going for it outside a surprisingly rich performance from Kumail Nanjiani is its director and comedy stalwart, Michael Showalter. While the films gives us a new take on the traditional rom-com specifically due to the cultural differences from its two leads, I still felt it never quite shook off the sluggishness of moving through a standard rom-com's paces. The Big Sick follows Nanjiani's real-life story of how he met his wife who suddenly became ill while they were dating. The strengths in the film lie with the relationships that come out of her illness. Kumail and Emily's parents form a reluctant bond moving from unstable to heartwarming over the course of Emily's stay. I've never been a standout fan of Ray Romano, but he's enjoyable as a goofy father doing the best he can in the dire situation. Holly Hunter puts forth a more ferocious performance as a mother incensed with protecting her child and struggling to make the best decisions to save her child. Overall, it was a good movie, but there just wasn't anything exciting about seeing it other than learning about Kumail's story, which is outside the normal. It was funny, even humorous in spots, but it was still too bland to break the mold of rom-com in an inventive way.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2017
    If there is something that no one can blame this film from being is predictable, since it always finds ways to surprise us with its maturity and sincerity, benefiting from solid performances and a very fine balance between heart and humor to tell us this real-life story.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2017
    FULL DISCLOSURE: I saw this while I was working my ass off in a foodtruck at an outdoor cinema. I missed whole chunks of it, and it certainly didn't have my full focus. I'll give it a proper chance at a later date, and alongside that, another review. What I did see of The Big Sick certainly held potential for me, I even had one genuine laugh, but American comedies rarely if ever resonate with me. I know this one plays it at a very different angle to your standard Sandler-esque faire, and I appreciate that, but I wasn't brought in enough from what I caught to get on board.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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