Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Romantic comedy directed by Michael Showalter based on the real courtship of Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily V. Gordon. Kumail’s who also wrote the screenplay. The Big Sick (2017) follows Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe 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.
Our Favorite Quote:
Kumail: [referring to Chris] He’s like if a serial killer f***ed an inspirational speaker.
CJ: He’s like Daniel Day-Lewis, except he sucks.
Kumail: My name’s Kumal.
Emily: Yeah, we know.
Jesse: Yeah, we saw you perform.
Kumail: Now that the niceties are out of the way I have to tell you that when you yelled at me it really threw me off and you really shouldn’t heckle comedians, it’s so rude.
Emily: I didn’t heckle you. I just woo-hoo’d you. That’s supportive.
Kumail: Okay, that’s common misconception. Yelling anything at a comedian is considered heckling. Heckling doesn’t have to be negative.
Emily: So, if I yelled out like, “You’re amazing in bed,” that would be a heckle?
Kumail: Yeah, it would be an accurate heckle.
Emily: I think I’m going to go home. This was fun.
Kumail: Wait. Wait, we haven’t had sex again yet. Stay.
Emily: Yeah, I’m just not that kind of girl. I only have sex once on the first date.
Kumail: What is happening? What are you doing?
Emily: I’m changing under this blanket.
Kumail: I’ve seen everything. Do you remember, we were just having sex?
Emily: Yeah, but you were like in the throes of passion. And listen, I had a really nice time. Thank you very much. I’m just going to like call Uber and go home, and I hope…
Kumail: [as she contacts Uber, his phone starts beeps at the same time] Your travel will be ready as soon as he puts on his pants.
Emily: Were you available for rides while we were f***ing?
Kumail: Yeah, but I only looked a couple times.
Sharmeen: [as their doorbell rings] Oh. I wonder who that could be.
Sharmeen: Let me check. I don’t know.
Kumail: I’m guessing it’s a young, single Pakistani woman, who just happened to be driving by our house, which is on a cul-de-sac. And I’m also guessing that the phrase “dropped in” will be said in the next ten seconds. Ten, nine, eight, seven…
Sharmeen: Everyone, this is Zubeida. She just dropped in.
Zubeida: [as she hands Kumial a photo] Oh, here, Kumail, for your files.
Kumail: Thank you.
Zubeida: Your X-Files because…
Kumail: Thank you.
Zubeida: That’s your favorite show. Huh?
Kumail: Thank you so much.
Zubeida: “The truth is out there!”
Kumail: I have to tell you something. Here we go. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve been dating this girl. She’s white.
Naveed: Oh. I thought you were going to say you were involved in a hit-and-run, or you got caught forging some checks. But a white girl? I mean, that’s such a cliché.
Kumail: [to the other diner patrons who are looking at them] It’s okay. And we hate terrorists.
Emily: [referring to his collection of photos of Pakistani women] Are you judging Pakistan’s Next Top Model or something?
Emily: Seriously. Who are these women?
Kumail: Okay. You know how we have arranged marriage in my culture. These are those women.
Emily: These are women in Pakistan who want to marry you? They’re not in Pakistan. You’ve met these women?
Kumail: Just with my parents and stuff. But we haven’t like…
Emily: But you’re not serious about this, are you?
Kumail: It’s my mom’s thing. I just go along with it.
Emily: So, what does your mom think about you and me then? She doesn’t know about me, does she?
Kumail: No. Emily, just…
Emily: F***! Five f***ing months of red flags. Oh, my God. I’m so stupid! You ducking my parents. Oh, my God. The two-day rule.
Kumail: No, that had nothing to do with it.
Emily: Seriously. Red flag after red flag.
Emily: You’re such a liar. You lied to me. You lied to your parents. And those are just the people you like. Is there someone that you’re not lying to? I’d love to meet them because then I could tell them what a f***ing liar you are!
Kumail: You know what, you didn’t tell me about your divorce until recently. So, you were hiding f***ing something too.
Emily: My divorce does not mean that our future is impossible. It actually means the direct opposite. I’m not hiding anything from you. Okay? I’m an open f***ing book.
Kumail: You know what we call arranged marriage in Pakistan, Emily? Marriage. Okay? We just call it marriage. There’s another type of marriage. It’s called love marriage, and that’s bad. My cousin Rehan married an Irish woman, and he was kicked out of the family. Nobody is allowed to talk to him.
Emily: Why didn’t you tell me any of this?
Kumail: Because I didn’t think you’d f***ing understand. And I was f***ing right.
Emily: You don’t think that I could fathom your life in any f***ing way?
Kumail: Oh, you think you could understand me? I’m fighting a one thousand four hundred year-old culture. You were ugly in high school. There’s a big f***ing difference. I’m sorry. I can’t lose my family.
Emily: Can you imagine a world in which we end up together?
Kumail: I don’t know.
Emily: I have to go. Don’t f***ing call me.
Sam Highsmith: I don’t want kids. People say, “Sam, you’re going to love it. This kid, you’re going to have a kid. He’s going to be your best friend.” A best friend that pukes on you, and s**ts everywhere, and is constantly screaming. I already have friends like that.
Dr. Wright: [referring to Emily] There’s a massive infection in her lungs, and all her vitals are elevated. Does she have HIV?
Kumail: What? No. I mean, she…
Dr. Wright: Are you her husband?
Dr. Wright: Oh, we need to intubate her immediately. I need a family member to sign this. So I’m going to ask you again, are you her husband?
Kumail: What does intubate mean?
Dr. Wright: We have to put her on a respirator, and to do that, we need to put her in a medically induced coma.
Dr. Wright: Yes, to stabilize her so we can work on the infection. And it needs to happen right now. So, I’m going to ask you one last time, are you her husband?
Nurse Judy: [to Kumail] You should call her family.
Chris: [referring Emily’s medically induced coma] You know, it might be a good thing. Like, she might wake up with a new skill. Like, my cousin blacked out once, and then, when he came to, he thought he knew a different language.
CJ: Did he?
Chris: No. Apparently, it was just gibberish that he made up. It was brain damage.
Kumail: I know you guys said that you don’t need me this day, but I think I’m just going to wait anyway.
Beth: You guys broke up. I’m not sure why you’re here. You don’t have to worry about being committed to anything, Kumail. You didn’t want to when she was awake. There’s no need to do it when she’s unconscious.
Kumail: Well, it’s more complicated than that.
Beth: Is it? Because I know about the two-day rule. I know about the head shots and the secrets. She tells us everything. You really don’t have to stay, Kumail. You have already done enough.
Kumail: I’m just going to stay for a second.
Kumail: [referring to Beth who’s looking at him] Is that lady still looking at me?
Terry: So, 9/11. No, I mean, I’ve always wanted to have a conversation about it. With people.
Kumail: You’ve never talked to people about 9/11?
Terry: No. What’s your, what’s your stance?
Kumail: What’s my stance on 9/11? Oh, anti. It was a tragedy. I mean, we lost nineteen of our best guys.
Kumail: That was a joke, obviously. 9/11 was a terrible tragedy, and it’s not funny to joke about it.
Terry: Oh, hey. Sorry. I didn’t mean to surprise you. I was just wondering if we were going to do anything? Have you got any parlor games?
Kumail: I don’t. What are parlor games?
Terry: Card games. Word games. Do you play any word games?
Kumail: No, I’ve never…
Terry: Do you ever play “You Can’t Rhyme It”?
Kumail: How does that go?
Terry: It’s basically, you know, you try and find a word, a real world, that nobody can rhyme, and then…
Kumail: Okay. Stonehenge.
Terry: Yeah, so you would win.
Terry: Yeah, that’d be a winner.
Terry: Here’s a joke.
Beth: No, Terry, don’t. Terry is about as funny as a fart in at a funeral.
Terry: No, this is funny. This is a funny one. A giraffe walks into a bar and he says to the bartender, “Highball’s on me.” You get it, right?
Kumail: Oh, that was the end of the joke?
Terry: Yeah, of course it was.
Kumail: That’s the whole joke?
Terry: That’s the joke. That’s the beauty of it. Boom.
Kumail: I thought there was more.
Terry: Look, again, he’s a giraffe. He’s tall, so it would stand to reason his testicles are high, and a highball is a drink. And you ruined it by saying I wasn’t funny first. That’s what it was.
Kumail: I think I screwed up with your daughter.
Beth: Yeah, you did.
Sharmeen: I was so worried. We saw on the news that a train derailed, and we thought that you were on the train, and you had died.
Kumail: Nobody died on that train, Ma.
Sharmeen: But did they look under the train?
Terry: [referring to cheating to his wife] It was horrible, too. As soon as I was finished, as soon as I finished, I was like, “What did you f***ing do? What did you just do? What did you do?” You know, that moment of clarity you get, right after an orgasm.
Terry: I told Beth right away. I had to. She was devastated, and now she hates me.
Kumail: She might be mad at you, but she doesn’t hate you. Should’ve heard the way she was talking about you.
Kumail: Hey, can I ask you something? Why did you tell her?
Terry: Oh, I had to. I’m no good with guilt.
Kumail: Do you guys talk about it?
Terry: Not anymore. She said she forgave me. But, no. She hasn’t. Let me give you some advice, Kumail. You’re going to know the woman that you want to spend the rest of your life with when you cheat on her. When you cheat on her and you just feel like s**t.
Kumail: So to fully know I love someone, I have to cheat on them?
Terry: Out loud, it sounds stupid. Yeah, that’s terrible advice. Love isn’t easy. That’s why they call it love.
Kumail: I don’t really get that either.
Terry: I know. I thought I could just start saying something and something smart would come out.