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The Big Sick—2017 Romance/Comedy based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. Their budding romance complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. The writer couple turned their own love story into an Oscar-nominated film: Boy meets girl, girl falls into coma, seriously funny romcom ensues. The Big Sick is directed by Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel—they find that “laughter-through-tears sweet spot, often in the unlikeliest of places”.

It sounds impossible—too melodramatic, too crazy—but it’s true. Actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani fell in love with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Emily V. Gordon, when she was in a coma. It also sounds impossible that such a story would make for a crowd-pleasing comedy, but that’s exactly what The Big Sick is, and so much more.

Director Michael Showalter’s film defies categorization. You could call it a romantic comedy and that would be accurate, because there are indeed elements of romance and comedy. It mines clashes across cultures and generations for laughs that are specific to Nanjiani’s experience but also resonate universally. The Big Sick also functions as an astutely insightful exploration of how we live now with the Pakistan-born comic, starring as himself, enduring racism that’s both casual and pointed.

Please RSVP to Sallie Smith

A casual group of movie-lovers gather on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. to watch a film followed by a brief discussion.