My Big Fat Greek Wedding

"Good"

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Review


Sometimes a movie's success stems more from spirit, charm and perseverance than from any originality or artistry involved in its creation. The unabashedly confectionery ethnic comedy-romance "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a shining example of just that phenomenon.

Of the same feel-good disposition as the Aussie sleeper hit "Strictly Ballroom," it's a low-budget, ugly duckling fairytale that is predictable and brimming with clichés -- but so earnest, funny and joyful that it's a complete delight all the same.

Adapted by Nia Vardalos from her own one-woman stage show, the movie also features Vardalos in the starring role as 30-ish Toula Portokalos, a frumpy, lovelorn waitress in her father's Greek restaurant. A shy girl who's fed up with her huge family's amusingly, exasperatingly intrusive hounding about finding a husband, she seeks self-empowerment by enrolling in community college computer classes, getting a make-over and taking new job at a relative's travel agency. In the process Toula discovers her assertive, flirtatious side -- just in time to meet Mr. Right.

Ian Miller (John Corbett from "Sex and the City") is one of those soft-spoken fantasy men who always says exactly the right thing, even to his future in-laws. Unfortunately for Toula, he ain't Greek, and that's just doesn't sit well with the Portokalos clan -- especially her irritable old-country father (Michael Constantine).

Vardalos's script doesn't have much of a story arch -- Ian passes his culture-clash trial by fire with flying colors -- and director Joel Zwick's filmmaking is elementary. But every frame of "Greek Wedding" is infused with the contagious, zesty essence of Vardalos's comedic gusto.

No stone goes unturned when it comes to affectionate cultural ribbing, from the gaudy, Parthenon-inspired architecture of the Portokalos suburban home to the contrast of Ian's bloodless, WASPy parents to Toula's sardonic narration. "When I was growing up, I knew I was different," she says during a childhood flashback. "The other girls were blonde and delicate, and I was a swarthy 6-year-old with sideburns."

The comedy focus later turns to the extravagances of and preparations for a Greek wedding (of course) with equally witty results. While the laughs are often obvious -- many are familiar from other self-parodying films about immigrant families -- Vardalos's affection and enthusiasm for that which she caricatures comes shining through, making "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" a lightweight crowd-pleaser that only a grump couldn't enjoy.



My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd August 2002

Box Office USA: $241.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $368.7M

Budget: $5M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: MPH Entertainment, Gold Circle Films, Playtone Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 98 Rotten: 31

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Toula, as Ian Miller, as Maria Portokalos, as Gus Portokalos, as Aunt Voula, as Angelo, as Nick Portokalos, as Cousin Nikki, Christina Eleusiniotis as Toula as child, Marita Zouravlioff as Toula Teenager, as Uncle Taki, Bess Meisler as Yiayia, Jayne Eastwood as Mrs. White, as Harriet Miller, as Rodney Miller, Frank Falcone as Suitor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

Advertisement
A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.