The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani makes a go for leading man material in "The Big Sick," in theaters Jun. 24. Credit: Amazon

Like most people, we’re big fans of Kumail Nanjiani — and we haven’t even seen an episode of “Silicon Valley” yet. (We keep meaning to. It will happen, we really mean it.) From his reliably on-point Twitter feed even to appearances in movies that are clearly beneath him (like “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”), the actor and comic deserves to be an even bigger name. And that might happen with the Sundance hit “The Big Sick,” in theaters June 23.

 

The story follows a Pakistani-American comedian, played by Nanjiani, who’s in a relationship with a white American (Zoe Kazan). His family isn’t too happy about this; they expected him to go the arranged marriage route. But her family doesn’t handle it swimmingly, either. When she falls sick, he winds up spending more time with her mother (Holly Hunter) and her father (Ray Romano), who is so awkward about their cultural divide that he asks him questions about 9/11.

 

It’s a tale inspired by Nanjiani’s own life, right down to being co-written with his actual wife, fellow writer and podcast host Emily V. Gordon. (She helped create his show “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail,” along with current “MST3K” reboot star Jonah Ray.) And while the new trailer pulls a classic Sundance dramedy move, changing from goofy to serious and moving in its second half, the jokes do keep coming. Word is the film, directed by “State” alum Michael Showalter (late of “Hello, My Name is Doris”), straddles the line between being serious and silly, betraying Nanjiani’s gift for tackling serious cultural and political issues with hilarity and wit.

 

OK, but real talk, we need to watch “Silicon Valley.” As we speak, three seasons of the show are buried in one of the many piles of unwatched Blu-rays and DVDs littered about our apartment. It’s like we don’t know Nanjiani at all, even though we already follow him.

 

Watch the “Big Sick” trailer below: