The Big Sick accomplishes many things.
It’s a romantic-comedy that’s both romantic and hilarious; it gives Kumail Nanjiani his first leading role in a feature-length film; it, along with his previous film Hello, My Name Is Doris, confirms that Michael Showalter is an increasingly confident director; and most importantly, it’s really good.
Also, it features maybe the finest 9/11 joke to date.
The Big Sick is based on the relationship between Nanjiani and his real-life wife Emily V. Gordon (they wrote the screenplay together), who’s played in the film by Zoe Kazan. After hooking up following a stand-up set, Kumail and Emily start dating, which is fine and dandy, except for the fact that his parents don’t approve of their son dating a girl who isn’t Pakistani. To complicate things even further, after they break up, Emily is placed into a medically-induced coma, which is not fine and dandy, especially when her parents (the excellent Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) visit.
When we spoke to her during SXSW, Gordon said, “It’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened in either of our lives,” while Nanjiani added, “I felt for me personally as a stand-up and writer, I had to do this. I just had to do it.” It’s good thing they did, because The Big Sick (which Judd Apatow produced) should go down as one of the best movies of 2017. Watch the trailer above.
The Big Sick comes out on June 23.