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It’s the kind of sweet moment, heightened by the levity that surrounds it, that exists only in the best romantic comedies.But what makes it especially notable here is the fact that Kumail is a Pakistani-American man, and when the camera cuts to his face receiving and then expressing love, it upends what we’re accustomed to seeing in most classic movie romances. Luckily, the comments only represent the views of a handful of the male species on the world wide web, and not the hopefully less misogynistic versions we all know and love. I much prefer the flowery dresses from the past.’ We’ll get back in the kitchen, shall we? Everyone has different tastes so things girls do will make them attractive to some men and not to others.’ Hear, hear.
But now such couples grace the screen with little to no commentary about their racial makeup.
Apparently, The Big Sick — which premiered at Sundance in January, was sold to Amazon Studios for million, and has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive critical reception — has found a formula for success in the still mostly white genre of romantic comedies.
The movie’s release feels like the culmination of a transformative few months for Hollywood representations of South Asian–American Muslims in love.
There’s a scene early on in the new romantic comedy The Big Sick, where the comedian Kumail Nanjiani (playing a version of himself) is sitting next to his girlfriend Emily (Zoe Kazan), talking about wine.
During their conversation, which begins flirty and fun but soon turns emotional, Emily looks at Kumail and suddenly says, “I am overwhelmed by you.” They’ve only been dating for a short while, so her admission comes as a bit of a surprise, but Kumail, looking into Emily’s eyes, unable to repress a smile, replies that he is also “overwhelmed” by her.
This immediately lead to an overflow of reactions to Project Baby’s comments.