“The business of comedy,” Kumail Nanjiani has explained, “is taking your personal experiences and making them relatable to other people.”
He’s done something like that often in his stand-up routines, but few have followed the rule as closely as he and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, have done in writing The Big Sick. That’s the successful romantic-comedy with the awkward title that’s nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
The story follows, scene by scene, the events experienced by the two writers during their courtship 10 years ago. In life and on the screen, there’s another rule of comedy Nanjiani believes in: “Comedy is a person in trouble. It’s a person dealing with a situation that they’re ill-equipped to handle.”
As fate would have it, Nanjiani (who plays Dinesh on Silicon Valley) and Gordon were presented with not one but two situations