If you sat down to watch The Big Sick , the most critically-acclaimed romantic comedy of 2017, you’d be forgiven for thinking the writers were complete geniuses for dreaming up such an original and emotive plot.
But for Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, watching The Big Sick unfold on the big screen is like watching an episode of This Is Your Life, because it’s their true to life romance that they are now sharing with the world via the release of their self-penned movie.
The couple met in Chicago in 2006 after Emily ruthlessly heckled Kumail during one of his stand-up comedy shows. After a bit of a classic Hollywood-style will they/won’t they comedy of errors, they finally started dating amid protests from Kumail’s Pakistani-born parents who desperately wanted him to enter into an arranged marriage.
Things quickly escalated, however, when just a few months into the relationship they were carefully keeping a secret, Emily fell ill and was placed into a medically induced coma. After being diagnosed with Still’s disease, a rare systemic autoinflammatory disorder that can shut down major organs if left untreated, she eventually woke up and made a full recovery.
Kumail stayed by her side during the entire hospital stay along with her parents, who he had only briefly met once before. The pair were married eight months after her release from hospital.
Now their love story has been given the big-screen treatment in the Judd Apatow-produced The Big Sick starring Silicon Valley actor Kumail as a version of himself, with Zoe Kazan playing the role of Emily and Ray Romano and Holly Hunter on board as her parents.