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The Big Sick [2017] [R] - 4.4.10



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A Pakistani-American comedian (Kumail Ninjiani) is torn between the traditions of his Muslim parents (Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff) and finding a marriage partner. After losing his true love (Zoe Kazan), he learns that she is in a medical coma and his odyssey begins. Also with Adeel Akhtar, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter Bo Burnham, Kurt Braunohler and Aidy Bryant. Directed by Michael Showalter. The film includes several lines of dialogue in Urdu with English subtitles. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman sitting on a couch kiss, and she climbs into his lap and pulls off her shirt, revealing cleavage and upper abdomen as the scene ends. A man chats up a woman in a club and they later sit on an air mattress in a bedroom and kiss briefly when she says, "I was not voted 'most sexy' in high school"; she wears a tank top (we see cleavage) and shorts. A clothed couple lies under covers in bed; her neckline reveals cleavage (no sex occurs). A man wearing a T-shirt lies in bed with a woman wearing a thin-strapped top lying turned away from him (recent sex suggested); we see her cleavage and the scene ends. A husband and his wife sleep in different beds in their daughter's apartment, until one night she climbs into bed with him (both are clothed); they hug, and the scene ends.
 A man and a woman hug goodbye and they kiss briefly in another scene.
 A woman introduces her adult son to a string of women as potential mates; he looks annoyed each time and takes their photos and places them in a cigar box that his girlfriend later finds and cries. An older man tells a younger man that he cheated on his wife in a one-night affair long ago (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman tells a man that she was married before, but divorced her husband when she found him kissing another woman in a restaurant.
 A woman wakes up wearing a tank top that shows some cleavage as well as shorts.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman stumbles in a store and says that she twisted her ankle earlier in the week while doing physical activities; we then hear that she is in a hospital and a man receives the message over the phone and drives over the speed limit to the ER.
 Doctors tell family members that a patient has a lung infection; when antibiotics do not work, doctors say they will remove the infection surgically through the ribcage (we do not see the surgery, bandages, or blood) and after a few days we hear that the patient has an infection in both kidneys that then spread to the heart and is eventually determined to be caused by an autoimmune disease.
 A woman and a heckler insult each other, another man charges at him, and the woman jumps onto the heckler's back, hitting his head with fists (no blood or damage is visible). A distraught man shouts several times at a drive-thru, slams his car door, approaches a drive-thru window, dumps a huge can of garbage in front of the window (he then apologizes) and the scene cuts to him alone in his car, gorging on four cheeseburgers and huge orders of French fries. In a home movie, a man wearing only shorts jumps into a frozen pool in the winter, landing on his side and screeching.
 A woman criticizes a couple that is not present for having a mixed-race baby, and then disowns her son for becoming engaged to a woman outside his own race; he refuses to accept either of his parents' or his brother's statements of disowning. A man on a stage tells a comedy club audience about his dying fiancée and they look stunned and confused; he leaves and sleeps in his car in the hospital parking lot. A woman in a club shouts at a fraternity member who is heckling a performer. The heckler suggests a comedian may be a terrorist and some people laugh. Parents argue about moving their comatose adult daughter from a women's hospital to a teaching hospital; a man (the woman's ex-boyfriend) meets them in a clinic hallway and shouts at them, "She could die!" until the woman's father raises his voice for several seconds and then takes his wife away. A doctor tells a man that a woman needs to be placed into a coma and on a respirator. A doctor asks a man if the patient has HIV and the man yelps, "No!" A woman says that she is doing health-related field work with men in prison convicted of domestic violence. A woman cries and tells her ex-boyfriend that their relationship will not work. In a restaurant a white couple stares at two Muslim men, one of whom looks over and calls out, "We hate terrorists!" A woman says that her father had a heart attack and cancer, but died in a car accident. A comedian tries to joke about 9/11 ("We lost some good guys, the suicide pilots") to an older couple, but they do not laugh. A middle-aged couple argue loudly and often about their daughter and her illnesses. We hear that a man with brain damage speaks only gibberish.
 Close-ups show a woman unconscious, zooming in to her nose and mouth under a breathing mask with a short tube in her mouth, an IV line taped to her inner arm (no needle or blood), and a blood pressure clip on one forefinger. A woman that was in a coma walks awkwardly, limping badly with crutches, a walker, and a cane; she improves until she can walk with a slight limp, with or without the cane. Vincent Price's scowling face appears on a TV screen in a horror film. College photos show a woman wearing Goth makeup next to a tombstone in a cemetery.
 A patient awakens from a coma and tries to drink water, but spits it out to the side (we see the spit water).

PROFANITY 10 - About 52 F-words and its derivatives, 9 sexual references, 16 scatological terms, 12 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, idiot, jerk, doob, ugly, dweeb, weird, lame, burger, baby, liar, bigoted, selfish, Time Nerds, Father Time), exclamations (shut-up), 1 religious profanity (GD), 13 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Christ, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man says that "He was doing cocaine," a man says that "Heroin is powerful," and a man says that his mother kicked him out at age 16 for smoking weed (marijuana). A man holds a beer bottle back stage at a club, a man holds a beer bottle in front of the stage at a club, a man on stage in a club calls out "Jell-O Shot Tuesday," we see a short glass of whiskey as well as a beer bottle and a glass of wine on a table in a club (no one drinks), we see a line of short mixed drinks that no one touches on a bar, two men and two women sip from short glasses of mixed cocktails and they later drink shots of liquor at a bar, men and women in a bookstore hold glasses of wine, a few tables in a club are shown with pitchers of beer as well as short mixed drinks and a few bottles of beer (no one drinks), a woman and two men drink whiskey in an apartment and then drink wine and one man passes out, and a beer bottle is seen on a table in a home.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Arranged marriages, cultures and religions, racial and ethnic conflicts, inter-racial marriages, terrorism, going against traditions, shunning, life as a comedian, marriage, fidelity, adultery, forgiveness, reconciliation, serious illness, dedication, loyalty, determination, sadness, loss, regret, happiness.

MESSAGE - Be honest and decide your own choices in life.

Special Keywords: S4 - V4 - P10 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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