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The 5 Things You Need To Know About Interracial Relationships from ‘The Big Sick’

Produced by comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow, THE BIG SICK, in cinemas July 28th, is the hilarious and heart-rending true story of a cross-culture romance that lays bare the comical awkwardness of contemporary dating, family ties and untimely comas. Starring Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, THE BIG SICK is this summer’s must-see romantic comedy.

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‘The Big Sick’ joins heavy hitters ‘Loving’ and ‘Get Out’ by showcasing an interracial relationship between Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a Pakistan-born aspiring comedian, and grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) in a hilarious and thoughtful romcom.

Interracial relationships have been subject to all manner of stereotypes, misconceptions and presumptions, and the film does a stand up job in navigating the realities of mixed race relationships in the 21st century. Here are the top 7 things we’ve learnt about interracial relationships (no spoilers!)


1.
Empathy is the key to understanding

There’s going to be differences between you and your date, and these are often even more apparent in interracial relationships. If you simply can’t fathom why your date, your parents or your date’s parents can feel the way they do about your relationship or an event or milestone, try walking a mile in their shoes.

It’s often uncomfortable, but the way people think is deeply rooted in their upbringing, people they respect and other opinions. Once you get an inkling of where they’re coming from, it’ll be easier for you to explain how you feel in a way that they’re more likely to understand.


2.Hard conversations clear your head

Most of the agony of deliberating whether or not to have a chat about points of friction that the racial part of your interracial relationship happen in your own head. ‘Should I tell them how I feel?’, ‘Should I tell them how they’re making me feel?’, ‘Will it make things worse?’ – the answer to these questions will only ever be known once you’ve actually done something proactive to help the situation.

Being proactive and thinking reasonably through the likely outcomes of addressing an issue will help you make a choice you can be happy with. Don’t live in limbo. Often hard conversations aren’t as bad as you build them up in your head to be, and if they are, at least you have a solid answer to those questions in your head, and you can move on.


3. Interracial relationships aren’t a ‘big deal’ – and the numbers prove it

According to census data, around 4% of white Brits are part of a mixed race couple, and interracial relationships are on the rise in the UK. So, it’s refreshing that the movie goes deeper, and focuses on some of the potential implications of being in an interracial relationships rather than the tired stereotypical tropes that have been done to death.


4. Do you have any dealbreakers?

There’s a moment where Emily confronts Kumail over an issue which initially seems more comedic than serious, but slowly bubbles away under the surface before becoming instantly memorable when the bare realities of the situation are laid out out on the table.

For the sake of both you and the person you’re in an interracial relationship with, you need to figure out in your own head if your relationship is sustainable, and ask yourself frankly  if you both have the same idea of where things might be going. If not, you need to see where you can make movement in either direction.


5. Interracial relationships are about actions, words & beliefs

All relationships are complex. Interracial relationships can simply throw in a few more factors which can be a source of joy, or conflict, or mean nothing at all. As we all know, the actual race of your date in the barebones physical traits, ancestry or genetics part of definition, aren’t relevant to your compatibility.

Like any other relationship, what does matter, is whether what they say, do and believe – which often can be impacted and formed by things like their relationships and religion – make up a personality that will bring meaningful and lasting joy into your life!

THE BIG SICK is in cinemas July 28.