What does it take to realize someone is the love of your life?
Perhaps you know from the moment you see them, love at first sight. Or maybe it is a result of a five-year relationship that finally culminated to your marriage. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon chronicle the beginning of their love story as a motion picture, where he falls in love with her while she is entirely unconscious.
Directed by Micheal Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow alongside Barry Mendel, “a True Awkward Love Story,” was created. “I think probably everyone has been in a situation where you’re in a medical crisis…and it’s surprising that some of the greatest moments of humor…come from those situations,” said Mendel, representing himself and Apatow at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Though writing the screenplay of their love story wasn’t easy, it took Nanjiani and Gordon about three and a half years before filming commenced. At first only Nanjiani was writing the screen play until, Gordon mentioned she saw a situation differently. After that the couple became partners in the screen writing.
“We knew the challenge was going to be to try and make it funny, but what Judd said from the very beginning was don’t worry about the funny just write it,” said Nanjiani.
With Ray Ramano, Holly Hunter, and Anupam Kher also on the panel each recounted how it was the play a parent in this situation. The consensus being that when situations like these happen you just must hope for the best, while also hoping that the role is being portrayed correctly. “It was interesting because it was a testament to the overarching confidence that manifests through the whole movie…and there was an open armed process of accepting all our ideas,” said Hunter when answering a question about doing research on the characters. Kher mentioned he only took the role because he felt the emotional connection to it without reading the script. Nanjiani brought on Kher specifically at his father’s request, thus the reason Kher took the part and it is now his 500th movie.
Everyone on the cast had a say it what went in and what came out. Zoe Kazan, who plays Emily in the picture stated that adding her own ideas helped her develop her character in a way that didn’t feel intrusive on Emily herself.
Thus, the movie is a more dramatized version of the actual story of how Kumail falls in love with Emily, while also adding a sense of humor to everything. The movie begins as Kumail is trying to do standup, while also lying to his parents about going to law school. Where Emily, played by Kazan, is working on her Masters degree in psychology. Where they start dating but due to cultural obligations Kumail has they break up and after Emily falls into a coma.
As their quaint love story evolves there are a lot of cultural boundaries that are tested those of which include going against tradition and accepting second chances. Love is an overpowering emotion and in this tale, it is prevalent that sometimes risks need to be taken. Everyone on the panel also agreed that each culture has its own stigmas on what marriage outside of your race does. What risks are you willing to take for who you love?