Meeting a significant other's parents is always a little uncomfortable — and watching someone else do it is just as awkward. When bringing aspects of his real love story with Emily V. Gordon to the big screen, Kumail Nanjiani depicts the reality of new relationships in The Big Sick. The romantic comedy, now on Digital HD and on Blu-Ray and DVD on Sept. 19, gives a heartfelt take on the challenges of modern dating, specifically being in an interracial relationship with conflicting cultures. This exclusive clip from the film portrays a universal occurrence that's honestly so relatable it hurts.
The Big Sick tells the story of Kumail (Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan), who develop an unpredictable romance from what initially was intended to be a one-night hookup. In the film, they meet after one of Kumail's stand-up shows after Emily makes her presence known from the audience. Produced by Judd Apatow, the movie has an authentic approach in addressing the pressures family can create (specifically, Nanjiani's traditional Muslim parents, who initially refuse to accept that their son will date a non-Muslim woman).
To make things even more complicated, Emily is struck with a mysterious infection and is placed in a medically-induced coma. Kumail finds himself having to deal with his own emotions amidst the crisis and family drama, but also go through the process with Emily's parents Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano). Isn't love fun?
In this clip, Kumail brings Emily's dad (who he just met, by the way) to his place after offering him a place to sleep while Emily remains in the hospital. Like Kumail's parents, Emily's mom and dad also have distaste for her significant other, mostly because she was heartbroken over Kumail before her infection hit, so her parents only know Kumail as the dude that broke their daughter's heart.
So on top of a girlfriend who's sick in the hospital, Kumail has to deal with two sets of unhappy parents, and, oh yeah, a roommate who won't shut up when Kumail brings Terry, who already doesn't like him, over for the first time. As if tensions weren't high enough, Kumail's roommate and fellow stand-up comic Chris (Kurt Braunohler) attempts to offer Terry his sympathies when he winds up recalling the horrid story of a family friend whose daughter died in a coma after a boating accident. ...And you thought meeting your S.O.'s parents was bad.
Like many meet-the-parents moments, The Big Sick scene is so uncomfortable it's hard to look away — and so laughable because it's that relatable. Though most of us haven't endured a scenario like Kumail and Emily's, many of us can relate to meeting our partner's parents.
With a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Big Sick has received much praise from critics since its debut. Audiences applaud the film for reinventing the often tired romantic-comedy formula, giving texture, reality, and depth to romance, especially ones that are cross-cultural. And the fact that it's based on Nanjiani and Gordon's real-life romance (the two wed in 2007), makes it that much more fun to cheer these characters (and their awkward encounters) on.