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Summer movie season is now officially upon us. Bring on the warm, sunny days that I will spend in a cold, dark movie theater. Usually “summer movie season” means big-budget blockbusters like this past weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, or the upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Those are great, and I’m most likely going to see all of them, but sometimes the biggest joy to be had at the movies is something a bit smaller and off beat. I have high hopes that The Big Sick will be such a movie. It premiered at this past January’s Sundance Film Festival to very positive reviews, and the newly released first trailer is fantastic.
Starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, the movie was written by Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon, and is based in part on their real life relationship. Nanjiani’s traditional Pakistani Muslim family apparently did initially have some apprehension about their son’s American girlfriend, and Gordon really did have to be put into a medically induced coma relatively early into their relationship. The fact that she’s alive and well now could be considered a spoiler I suppose, but that’s completely fine by me. A story like this is about the characters and their relationships and not a dramatic plot.
I’m not always the biggest fan of rom-coms, and I can’t remember the last time I went to see one, but this one seems to avoid some of the reasons they’re not usually my favorite. The last joke in the trailer was a welcome surprise, because after the line “Love isn’t easy, that’s why they call it love.” I rolled my eyes and was disappointed in its typical this-seems-like-it’s-really-deep-but-doesn’t-actually-mean-anything nature.
The awkwardness of all Nanjiani’s interactions with Ray Romano are amazing. Romano is most commonly associated with his sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, but he also had a really good run on the show Parenthood, which was more similar in tone to this. The Big Sick is funny, but more grounded in reality than the typical comedy. It may depend on what your family is like, but I felt a stab of fondness when Holly Hunter flung her jacket onto the chair next to her so her daughter’s ex-boyfriend couldn’t sit next to her because I can absolutely picture my mother doing that to a man she felt had wronged me.
If like me you became interested in the real life couple behind the movie after seeing the trailer, you can read what Emily Gordon had to say about her near-death experience here, and you can watch Kumail Nanjiani tell a hilarious story about his wedding on Conan.
The Big Sick will be released in theaters on June 23rd
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