PLAY MOVIES BIG SICK GROUNDED IN REALITY
Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s courtship may have been swift and filled with drama, but turning their tale into the hit romcom The Big Sick was a labour of love that took several years.
The film is set in the early stages of the couple’s relationship in 2007, when Gordon was struck with a rare illness and put into a medically induced coma for 12 days in a Chicago hospital.
Her relatively new boyfriend, Pakistaniborn Nanjiani, was then forced to navigate the medical system and their cultural differences all the while getting to know her parents, played in the film by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter.
Gordon pulled through the operation and coma and married Nanjiani, an IT worker turned stand- up comedian, a few months later.
The film focuses on the cross- cultural barriers Nanjiani and Gordon, who is played by Zoe Kazan, faced while their love for each other blossomed, including his family’s tradition of arranged marriages.
Their tale piqued the interest of producerextraordinaire Judd Apatow in 2012, when Nanjiani told the brains behind 40- Year- Old Virgin, Trainwreck and TV series Girls about how he and Gordon came to marry. Soon after, the wheels were in motion to transform their story into a romcom. The couple, who cowrote the movie, say Apatow was a strict task master who ordered hundreds of rewrites.
“He just rewrites a lot. Everything is written and rewritten,” says Nanjiani, who stars as himself in the movie. Gordon says, “To relive some of the hardest parts of your life and then get notes on them, that’s never fun.”