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The Big Sick – A Modern Day Awkward Version of Romeo & Juliet

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The Big Sick – A Modern Day Awkward Version of Romeo & Juliet

We tend to think that society is progressive, liberal, and open-minded. But then again, interracial and intercultural marriages are still noticed and frowned upon – especially with older generations. Traditional views still persist for many cultures within our country. When young people from different cultures fall in love, they often end up having Romeo-and-Juliet-type battles to fight for a chance to stay together.

Sometimes love prevails. But other times, a family is just torn apart by these relationships. Kids are disowned, couples end up eloping, or the relationship ends and both are simply heartbroken.

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The Big Sick is a romantic comedy that follows an interracial couple’s journey as they deal with their cultural differences. It’s loosely based on the real-life romance between Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his wife Emily Gordon.

From family disputes and match-making failures, to looking after a loved one who is ill and going through a near-death experience…The Big Sick has plenty of funny and genuine moments to convince viewers that true love will always prevail.

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    The main character, Kumail, is a Pakistani stand-up comedian, who meets an American graduate student named Emily during one of his stand-up shows. A one-night stand soon blossoms into a full-on relationship, but this leaves Kumail worried that his traditional Muslim parents will disapprove. When Emily comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a deep and lasting bonds with her mother and father.

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    Arranged marriages are still fairly common among Pakistani families, where parents will often set up a series of dates for their children in hopes it will lead to marriage. And marrying outside of their culture is strictly forbidden. The Big Sick puts the spotlight on this sensitive but very real issue, when Kumail is consistently caught unaware by his mother inviting Pakistani women to their family dinners.

    Kumail’s own brother is happy in an arranged marriage. The lighthearted acting and many authentic perspectives make this film a pleasure to watch. At the heart of the film is the idea that family ties are the ones that bind. Whether it’s Kumail’s traditional and narrow-minded family or Emily’s larger-than-life parents, the movie never fails to show just how deep and lasting family bonds are, no matter how difficult the challenges.

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    And the challenges seem insurmountable sometimes! It’s not easy to stand up for what you truly love or believe in, but if it’s something worth fighting for, this movie reminds us to persevere. That’s another big takeaway from this excellent film: The Big Sick finds light in the dark. A movie about a girlfriend in a coma and a man risking his family to be with her manages to be both funny and deeply, authentically moving.

    If you like what you see, you can purchase the full film on iTunes. Watch the trailer here:

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    More by this author

    Anna Chui

    Anna is the Editor-in-Chief and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert and shares tips on happiness and relationships.

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2022

    10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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    10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

    A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

    To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

    1. Camping

    A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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    2. Staycation

    You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

    3. Island Getaway

    People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

    4. Fancy Resort

    Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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    5. Road Trip

    The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

    6. Charter a Boat

    If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

    7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

    If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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    8. Themed Retreats

    There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

    9. Working Honeymoon

    Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

    10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

    Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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    Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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