Kumail Nanjiani mines real-life cultural hurdles and avoiding an arranged marriage in ‘The Big Sick’

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When he was 18, Kumail Nanjiani emigrated from Karachi, Pakistan, to Iowa to go to college. Four years later his parents came to the U.S., settling in New Jersey.

Nanjiani welcomed the thousand-mile buffer zone, not because he didn’t love his parents but because they expected, per traditional Pakistani...