A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You have to be honest and fight for what you love and believe in, even when it's hard -- especially when it's hard. Questioning tradition and family expectations isn't easy, but you shouldn't go along with them just to avoid rocking the boat. Commitment means working through the bad/difficult stuff and not running away when things get challenging. Communication is important.
Positive Role Models
Kumail initially takes little responsibility for himself/his life, preferring to avoid conflict and anything difficult. But he learns the importance of commitment and honesty/integrity, which leads him to stand up for what he believes/cares about. Emily is a bit of a "manic pixie dreamgirl" cliche, but she also challenges Kumail and helps him grow/grow up. Her parents are flawed but ultimately loving and well intentioned; Kumail's parents clearly love their son but are also bound by tradition. At one point his mother talks negatively about a mixed-race baby within their extended Pakistani family. The cast is a fairly even mix of white characters and those of Pakistani descent.
Violence & Scariness
Couples argue and hurl insults during fights. Some potentially upsetting scenes of a main character very ill in the hospital. A character gets loud and belligerent at a comedy club.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters hook up after a first date; they cuddle in bed and kiss and are then shown partially naked under bedding -- sex is discussed but not shown. A character in underwear gets dressed under a blanket. One character tells another about his infidelity. Crass jokes/sexual terms (including references to a "hand job," testicles, semen, orgasms, etc.).
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Frequent swearing/strong language, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "d--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "prick," "boner," "t-tties," "crap," "sucks," "stupid," "oh my God," "Christ," and "Jesus" (as exclamations). Testicles, semen, and orgasms are mentioned. A heckler makes racist comments to a stand-up comic.
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Products & Purchases
The main character is an Uber driver. Coca-Cola, Red Bull, iPhones, and Mac laptops are seen. References to Facebook, Tumblr, The X-Files, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, scary movies, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
It's implied that a comedy club manager does cocaine in the bathroom. Characters drink wine, whiskey, and shots at bars/restaurants and at home; in one scene, three main characters get drunk together (one falls asleep/passes out).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Big Sick is based on writer/star Kumail Nanjiani's real-life love story with his wife, Emily. It's a romantic comedy, but it's also a thoughtful, mature drama about relationships, commitment, cultural traditions, and learning to be honest with yourself and others. Expect lots of strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," and more), as well as sometimes-crass sexual references and situations; characters hook up/make out, and sex is implied (but there's no nudity). Characters also talk about infidelity. While there's no violence, scenes of a key character who gets very ill could be upsetting, and there are several scenes in which characters argue and/or get loud with each other. It's implied that a comedy club manager does cocaine, and many characters drink (a couple of times to excess). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Michael Showalter's engaging, thoughtful film is most easily billed as a romantic comedy, but it has far more depth and dimension than your standard rom-com. For one thing, Emily is comatose for about half the movie, which means Kumail's primary relationships shift to the new, often-shaky ones he's forming with Beth and Terry and the longstanding but sometimes almost as shaky ones he has with his own parents. Having to step up on his own, with Emily out of the picture, is what finally helps Kumail grow up and move forward in his life.
It's also what yields some of The Big Sick's funniest and most touching scenes. While early interactions between Kumail and Emily and Kumail and his comic buddies are funny and cute, they're nothing we haven't seen in indie romantic comedies before. But the scenes of Kumail getting to know Beth and Terry feel fresh and different; strangers thrown together by circumstance, they bond over everything from stress eating to talking about the one thing they do have in common: Emily. Only real life could have produced a story with these kinds of twists, turns, and odd bedfellows -- thankfully, because The Big Sick is based on Kumail and Emily's actual relationship, we know that it will all turn out all right in the end, with a lot of laughs and significant insights along the way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.