Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.
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Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), in the middle of becoming a budding stand-up comedian, meets Emily (Zoe Kazan). Meanwhile, a sudden illness sets in forcing Emily to be put into a medically-induced coma. Kumail must navigate being a comedian, dealing with tragic illness, and placating his family's desire to let them fix him up with a spouse, while contemplating and figuring out who he really is and what he truly believes Written by
Brett Lee Swerbilow (email@example.com)
Before auditioning, actress Zoe Kazan watched videos of Kumail and Emily to help get a better understanding of them and their characters. See more »
Although he lives in Chicago, Kumail's car has a New York inspection sticker on the windshield. See more »
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.
Nobody died on that train, ma.
But did they look under the train?
See more »
In the beginning of the end credits, photos of shown of the real-life inspiration behind the Emily character, as well as the wedding between Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and Nanjiani's real-life parents. See more »
A Beautiful Sweet Film about Complexities of Diversity and Relationships in Modern America
The Big Sick was very warmly-received at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The Big Sick is a superbly original romantic comedy/drama based on a true story of Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife Emily Gardner; they co-wrote the script together. Kumail stars as himself. It starts from the premise of the inherent difficulties of interracial, inter-religious relationship between a Pakistani- American comedian and white woman in Chicago who face both the normal difficulties of relationships combined with the pressures of Kumail's overbearing, but loving family who demand that he participate in an arranged marriage to a Pakistani girl. Kumail is caught between competing worlds. The situation spins out-of-control when Emily becomes extremely ill and Kumail has to deal with her parents.
The amazing part of this movie is that it deals with deeply serious complex issues, but does so with humor and grace. The screenplay is remarkable and nuanced, but is infused with a comedian's sense of humor that captures the real human comedy that exists in all personal relationships. You will die laughing when Emily's bewildered father turns to Kumail in a hospital cafeteria and asks him, "What do you think of 9/11?" and Kumail responds as a comedian should to such an outrageously stupid question. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter are excellent in the roles of Emily's parents.
While based on a true story, I'm sure parts have been fictionalized to bring the drama and the humor of the events to the screen, but it appears that the basic Romeo & Juliet premise is based on the screen writers' real relationship. The film's ability to balance the deadly serious and the comedic reminds me of the wonderful film 50/50 (2011) which also dealt with a deadly illness with a similar light touch. This beautiful film which deals so well with the complexities of overcoming cultural differences serves as a good anecdote to our charged political climate and especially with the demonization of Islam that has become all too dangerous in this country. I hope it is the breakout comedy hit of the summer when it goes into wide release in July.
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