I caught The Big Sick for a third time last night (Tatyana hadn’t seen it), and in the Cinerama Dome yet — not a good place to see almost anything due to that image-distorting Cinerama screen. (Remember that Alan Parker had a less curvy screen installed before he’d allow Evita to play there in ’96.) The Big Sick plays very nicely the third time. Nothing felt the least bit tired or overbaked — it still feels fresh and natural and sharp as a tack. On top of which I understood more of it this time. There’s a lot of tossed-off vocal-fry muttering going on (especially from Zoe Kazan), but the Cinerama Dome sound system was good enough to overcome the psst-psst-nep-nyep tonalities.
We were talking about how much we liked Holly Hunter as Zoe’s mom. When we got home I persuaded Tatyana to watch Broadcast News (’87), which she’d never seen and in which Hunter gave her career-best performance.
I still think Zoe’s Emily is too hard on poor Kumail Nanjiani when she learns about all the Pakistani women he’s been dining with at his mother’s dictatorial urging, and about how he’s never told his mother about her. Here’s how I put it a few weeks ago:
You’re an Anglo-Saxon girl going out with a Pakistani guy. A few weeks of increasing closeness and commitment lead to love. Then you discover that his demanding, traditionalist mom has been trying to set him up with a series of Muslim women over dinners. He’s not into this at all — he’s into you — but he’s been secretly going along with the charade to placate mom. So yes, he’s been lying to you but he hasn’t been unfaithful, or not really. He should have copped to the dinners, of course, but he was too chicken, too cowed.
Question: If you were the white girl, would you maybe cut your dishonest Pakistani boyfriend a little slack? You could tell him to fuck off for a while just to make him sweat, but if he kept apologizing and trying to gently win you back…maybe? I’m no Middle-Eastern scholar, but even I know that Pakistani parents are very strict when it comes to their children staying within the Muslim flock. If I were the white girl, I doubt if I’d be completely destroyed when the truth was revealed. Rather than go nuclear I would probably ease up and try to “understand”, I think.