For Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon, theirs was just your typical love story. Boy meets girl, girl heckles boy's comedy show, boy and girl date, boy's parents are attempting to find an arranged marriage for him, girl falls into an eight day, medically induced coma.
Ok, maybe it's not so common, but it was the perfect fodder for a romcom, so five years later that's just what they did. Using their actual life story for the film, Nanjiani and Gordon co-wrote 'The Big Sick', based on the now married couple's early, unconventional relationship.
Kumail not only co-wrote the screenplay to his own life, but starred as himself in the film, while Gordon took on the role of producer, Zoe Kazaan stars as Emily. While Emily lays in a coma, Kumail must juggle his feelings for Emily, his traditional Pakistani parents who are attempting an arranged marriage plus Emily's frantic parents who have arrived at the hospital to find their daughter unconscious.
"Personally I had been a little negligent about going back, going into and really thinking about how all these events had made me feel," Nanjiani told HuffPost Australia.
"I hadn't really grappled with a lot of it," he said, "doing this movie was sort of forcing myself to go through everything we had been through in trying to come to terms with it".
While the first act of the film follows a pretty regular romcom structure, Emily's out of play for most of the second act. The film changes gear as Kumail begins to establish his own relationship with her parents, played expertly by the incredible Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.
"It's kind of a love story with parents," Gordon said, "it's about the relationship you have with the person you love's parents, which we often don't really see in movies".
The ability to go back and relive their shared past through the making of the film only made their bond stronger according to Nanjiani.
"If you go through some crazy stuff," he said, "write a movie about it because it will help you understand how you really feel about all that stuff."
'The Big Sick' opens in cinemas across Australia August 3.Suggest a correction