“Can you imagine a world in which we end up together?” “I don’t know.” Such is the relationship between Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan) in The Big Sick, Michael Showalter’s romantic dramedy that’s based on a true story. He’s a Pakistani comic; she’s a grad student. “A white girl?!” his stunned buddy blurts out when he hears of the goings-on. Things are more than a little rocky, but then she is hospitalized with a mysterious illness, and Kumail is there first. It’s up to him to tell her parents — whom he’s never met.
Said mom and dad are Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter, Ray Romano), and initially they want nothing to do with the guy who broke up with their daughter but wants to join them in the hospital waiting room. Cue the culture clash. “So, 9/11,” Dad begins over lunch, “I’ve always wanted to have a conversation a conversation with — people.” Kumail asks, “You’ve never talked to people about 9/11?”
Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon wrote the film produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, which marks the second Lionsgate release of an Amazon title following Woody Allen’s 2016 Cannes opener Café Society, which opened the Cannes Film Festival last year. It hits theaters June 23. Check out the trailer above, complete with lie-laced intro by Nanjiani and Romano, and tell us what you think.