Whale of a Tale Productions

A Post Production Company

The Big Sick by Michael Showalter 2017

I am a fan of Kumail Najiani from Silicon Valley and so was looking forward to seeing this one, and I love that it is really his story. And kind of amazing to have a romantic comedy where one of the characters is in a coma for most of the film. It is really heartfelt and a good film all around. Well worth seeing.

Kumail plays himself a standup comedian in Chicago who makes money by driving for Uber. His Pakistanti Muslim family doesn’t get him or why he wants to be a comedian and they are constantly trying to set him up with Pakistanti women, hoping he will do like they did and have an arranged marriage. At a comedy show he is helpfully heckled by Emily Gardner (Zoe Kazan). They have a one night stand and she calls for an Uber and he is the driver. They keep seeing each other for more one nights until they end up in a relationship. Kimail won’t tell his family about her though, because they would dissaprove, and when Emily finds his box of headshots of all the Pakistani women they have a huge fight and break up. Shortly thereafter a friend of Emily’s calls and says she is in the hospital and no one is with her, so he goes there so someone is with her. She has a very serious infection and must be put in a coma, and he pretends to be her husband to sign the forms. He is there when he parents Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano) arrive.


Movie Poster

Emily’s parents tell him he isn’t needed and can leave, especially since they know they broke up, but he can’t seem to do it and stays. And slowly starts bonding with them. They come to his horrible apartment, and to his comedy show where Beth gets in a fight with one of Kumail’s hecklers. The three grow closer.

Emily meanwhile is getting worse and the surgery doesn’t work, so the infection gets to her Kidneys. Her parents decide to transfer her back home. Kumail talks to a nurse who says it is a bad idea, and unsafe, but Beth wants to move her. Beth and Terry fight, and he stays with Kumail and reveals that he cheated on Beth once and told her and will always regret it.

Kumail’s parents haven’t heard from him and come to his apartment, and he tells them he doesn’t want an arranged marriage and tells them about Emily and they disown him.

Kumail prepares for an audition for the Montreal Comedy Festival when he learns that Emily’s infection has hit her heart and he totally screws up his audition talking about Emily the whole time.

Emily finally awakens and is treated. She had a rare condition and Kumail helped treat it when eh told about her ankle injury that was slow to heal. Emily is still pissed at Kumail, though he has realized he loves her, and she makes him leave.

Kumail comes to Emily’s homecoming party bringing the shredded pictures of the women from the arranged marriages, but she is still angry with him and tells him to go.

Kumail makes plans with 2 of his friends to move to New York and do comedy there. He tells his family his plans and tells them he refuses to be disowned.

Emily meanwhile sees the video of Kumail’s audition and all he says about her. She goes to talk to him, and he tells her he is going to New York, and she thanks him for all he did while she was in a coma.

As Kumail is loading his car to leave, his parents show up and give him his favorite dish from his mother who still won’t talk to him.

In New York an audience member heckles Kumail and it is Emily. And we learn that this is the real story of him and his wife Emily Gordon who co-wrote the script with him.


A really enjoyable and heartfelt film. I really enjoyed it.

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