Screen Unseen – The Big Sick

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a big fan of Odeon Screen Unseen. Obviously, it’s great to not have to pay a lot to see a movie! It also provides me with an opportunity to see films that I may not have paid to see otherwise.  This was the case with my first visit when I saw Hidden Figures.

I recently had the chance to attend Screen Unseen for the third time, and once again I was not disappointed.

Screen Unseen – The Big Sick

I had seen a trailer for this film on a previous visit to an Odeon for a Screen Unseen showing, so I was familiar with the broad plot.  The trailer (below) doesn’t do the movie justice.  In fact, it doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.

The Big Sick stars Kumail Nanjiani, I know him from a show which I love – Silicon Valley.  You may also recognise him from his stand up comedy.  He has had supporting roles in many other films, this is his first major lead role.  Kumail plays, Kumail – an aspiring stand up comedian.  Easy to see why he slotted into the role so well! This pretty much becomes the sub plot of the film, with the main focus being his relationship with Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) and her subsequent decline in health.

The film features notable cameos from Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Oscar winning actress Holly Hunter who plays Emily’s parents.

Belly laughs and bawling your eyes out

If I had to describe The Big Sick in a few words, I’d go with “a comedic roller coaster of emotions”.  There are numerous moments to make you chuckle out loud – such as Emily calling an Uber after a one night stand with Kumail, to then hear his phone beep because he is a part time Uber driver. At the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, there are plenty of tears inducing moments too.

As you experience the love story unfolding, you become immersed in Kumail’s journey. He faces internal conflict with his family, who want him to meet and marry a Pakistani girl. He then finds that he is shunned by Emily’s parents, leaving him with just his friends on the comedy circuit.

Based on a true story

What makes the film all the more incredible is that it The Big Sick was written by Kumail and his wife Emily, and based on a true story.  They first met in 2006, when, as in the movie, Emily saw Kumail at a comedy club and heckled him.  They married ten years ago now, only a few months after Emily woke from a coma.  In a recent interview, the couple discussed how they still manage her rare condition autoinflammatory disorder.

Produced by greatness

With producer Judd Apatow at the helm, The Big Sick might have been destined for greatness before it even reaches the cinema.  Apatow has a list of box office blockbusters so long that an arm wouldn’t cover it.  Notable mentions go to Anchorman, The 40-year-old virgin, Knocked up and Superbad.  There is a level of humour that you can expect from a Judd Apatow produced film and this doesn’t disappoint.


It’s brilliant. I feel like this film takes the whole “rom-com” genre up a notch.  When I mentioned that the trailer didn’t do the film justice, it’s because you don’t understand how emotionally involved you will become.  It offers a fantastic blend of humour, around the uncertainty of Emily’s health and the minefield of the cross culture relationship.  With many an inappropriate joke at regularly inappropriate interludes, you’ll likely be laughing before you manage to find a tissue to wipe away any tears.

Be sure to check out my other Screen Unseen reviews of Hidden Figures and Baby Driver.  Check your local Odeon to find out if they will be hosting a Screen Unseen showing anytime soon!

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