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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.49%
Average: 25.21%
Pretty Bad: 8.4%
Total Crap: 11.76%

6 reviews, 83 user ratings

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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by Chris Parry

"Not as grand as the hype indicates, but a great way to spend 90 minutes."
4 stars

The amazing thing about My Big Fat Greek Wedding isn’t that it came from out of nowhere to stick around in the box office top ten for twenty weeks before finally hitting number one. The amazing thing about My Big Fat Greek Wedding is that the distributor of the film, IFC Films, is the first company to actually have enough faith to keep a small film in theaters for so long and let positive word of mouth work. To be sure, this isn’t the greatest film you’ll have ever seen, in fact it’s pretty much just an average affair. But in a summer of films so bad you’d almost consider taking up bowling in your spare time, all it takes is some good laughs, an enjoyable cast, and a little time for word to get around and you’ve got yourself a genuine bona fide success on your hands. Congratulations to IFC Films for having the faith in their project to let audiences do the marketing for them, and for picking the perfect time to put out some light-hearted low-budget comedy that doesn’t rely on gross-out humor or the teen market to make its millions.

Toula is a dreary 30-something Greek-American woman. She’s not good looking, not surrounded by friends, and her parents seem to have lost faith in her being anything of worth (IE: a wife) a long time ago. And then comes Ian, who sweeps Toula off her feet, brings out her inner beauty and asks her to marry him. Only problem is… he’s not Greek.

The beauty of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is in its simplicity and its realism. If you’ve known Greek families in your time, these aren’t imaginary people and situations, they’re very, very real. The smothering father who thinks Windex will cure anything, the moron brother who doesn’t know a good joke from a bad one, the big-haired mother with a PHD in guilt, and the cousins… the millions of cousins. For non-Greek audiences, these people are hysterical. For Greek audiences even more so, because they know these people - they know them all too well.

Nia Vardalos, who wrote the film and stars as the lead, deserves a hearty handshake and all the riches she’s now undoubtedly being, as she’s written something that avoids cliché while taking us somewhere we’ve all been before. She hasn’t tried to split the atom here, she’s just put together a fun screenplay and acted it out as naturally as required. John Corbett, who seemed headed for big things with Northern Exposure where he played Philosopher DJ Chris, is a likeable co-star, as is basically everyone else in the cast. It pushes believability at times, but so what, it’s a comedy. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is simple fun aimed at any audience, and you’d be hard pressed not to have a good time with it.

At the time of writing, this film was number-one at the box office, even though it had been around for nearly half a year. Why? Big credit has to go to the number-crunchers at IFC Films for releasing it with intelligence. They didn’t just throw it on 200 screens and wait for the audience to die off, they had it on 200 screens in New York, Chicago and LA, then shifted it outwards 200 screens more at a time. When the box office dried up in one city, the word had spread to the next and the audiences would come out to see what the fuss was about. In fact, when the per screen average of this film dropped right off, and it did many times, IFC Films retained faith and doubled the number of screens it was on from 250 to 500 to 1000 and now 1600.

Understand, any other distributor, once the per-screen average dips, dumps their film like it’s dipped in cow shit. IFC did the opposite, keeping the flick on screens, knowing full well that people will talk and they’ll bring their friends. In fact, to this date, over half a year of this film being out there, IFC Films has not once significantly reduced the number of screens this film was showing on. Theaters that had shown it three months ago are asking for it to come back. It’s a Blair Witch style phenomenon.

And good. Perhaps now Hollywood is looking at this film (as it does with every indie success story) and wondering how they can tap into its success (read: copy it). They can start with a well prepared script, believable and funny dialogue, characters we can relate to (a chunky female lead? When’s the last time you saw one of those?) and a trailer that doesn’t give the ending of the film away.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding will be quickly forgotten once we’ve all had a chance to see it (is anyone renting The Full Monty today?), because it’s not particularly unforgettable, but just maybe it will change the way Hollywood operates and change it for the better. For that reason alone, even if you ignore that it’s funny and enjoyable, it’s worth buying a ticket.

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originally posted: 09/13/02 09:30:12
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User Comments

6/22/15 David Hollingsworth Smart and refreshing better than average romantic comedy 5 stars
4/14/12 Dr.Lao Those wacky foreigners, ain't they a hoot? Oh Hollywood, you do love your hypocirsy! 2 stars
1/02/11 Joe S More of a fat chick flick, fat ugly chick gets the guy. No reason a dude to see it 2 stars
2/26/10 Reality Of FIlms This movie is very funny. I feel sorry for you, dbx. 5 stars
12/28/09 Jeff Wilder Amusing moments. But is nowhere near the comedy masterpiece many say it is. 3 stars
8/13/08 Brenda One of my favorite movies. I like the pace, love the characters and the story charming. 5 stars
8/03/08 markgse A comemdy I could watch several times. Bravo!! 5 stars
7/28/08 George Barksdale I found this to be a very refresshing comedy 5 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White serious romantic film, great chick flick 4 stars
4/11/07 David Cohen Cute, not great, but cute 3 stars
10/31/06 Bitchflaps Mediocre rom-com, nothing new here. 2 stars
4/26/06 Becky I'm Italian, and my boyfriend is Greek... so I loved this movie on so many levels!! 5 stars
2/05/06 Brian One of the best romantic comedies made 5 stars
11/14/05 read this everyone says this is so funny, well, it is. but only the first time. second time... yawn. 3 stars
11/14/05 hi Director: Joel Zwick 3 stars
3/29/05 dbx the MOST ANNOYING film of all time. if you liked it I feel sorry for you. 1 stars
1/31/05 Katherine Frazier I could so relate this family to my Italian family 4 stars
8/19/04 Peter B. Funny! 4 stars
7/25/04 DM A few funny bits but too sitcom-y for its own good 2 stars
3/27/04 Nicole I love this movie hah its soo funny and a nice family film..5 stars bitch! 5 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Same old plot boy neets girl 2 stars
2/01/04 britney very funny its awesome it deserves a 5 5 stars
1/13/04 MelissaNYC It isn't a masterpiece; just pretty good. Corbett is the essence of HOTNESS! 4 stars
10/14/03 I Would I must be missing something here but THIS WAS WHAT ALL THE HYPE WAS ABOUT?????????????????? 2 stars
9/27/03 Honolulu Tur Big fat pain in my arse..what overrated garbage this is!! OPA THIS 1 stars
9/19/03 Jin what boring cliched crap. Muriels Wedding wannabe 1 stars
9/12/03 Goofy Maxwell Sometimes finds the funny bone, but scrapes the marrow for it's 90 min. running time. 3 stars
8/20/03 miranda rRvals forest gump as the most PHONEY,MANIPULATIVE, "heartwarming" movies of all time. 1 stars
8/18/03 Monster W. Kung Idiotic, an 'indie' movie that stinks like the worst Hollywood. No sequel PLEASE. 2 stars
7/27/03 Goofy1 A little slow at first, but then I loved it. 4 stars
6/20/03 Kyle That was IT? WHAT THE FUCK? 1 stars
6/09/03 Francis pleasant, but not particularly funny, and not much happens 3 stars
5/23/03 Charles Tatum Average, shallow comedy highlighted by Andrea Martin's "lump" story 3 stars
5/17/03 Turtle One of the best romantic comedies of all time. Just plain hilarious! 5 stars
4/24/03 Leah what a piece of shit. Greek humour aint fucking funny. 1 stars
4/24/03 GWB garbage and boring 1 stars
4/08/03 Mystique Not bad 4 stars
4/06/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng "Fools Rush In" meets "Bend It Like Beckham", but this one sucks! Fucking boring. 1 stars
4/03/03 Chris I loved it but certianly not the best romance ever, "Return To Me" 5 stars
3/25/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik It's very funny, but not THAT good. 4 stars
2/27/03 atanu its piteous people accept this for humor. you want funny, go watch action league now! 1 stars
2/25/03 Ken Not brilliant, but very funny. I liked it. 4 stars
2/24/03 Nancy N. Not surprised it became a sitcom, because it already feels like a sitcom 2 stars
2/20/03 Natalie Stonecipher I'd call it awesome if Windex had cured my zit. 4 stars
2/19/03 Schecky McDougal This film proves independent films can follow the same tired formulas as big studios 3 stars
2/16/03 R.W. Welch Agreeable ethnic rom\com, sort of a relief from the usual Hollywood stuff. 4 stars
2/16/03 Silverline Its ok and funny, but its not the most amazing movie ever 3 stars
2/14/03 Todd I hate this movie with every fiber of my being. Ebert and Roper can choke on my ball bag 1 stars
1/31/03 Peregrine Formulaic and facile, a cliché-ridden turkey that's as stale as three-week-old moussaka. 1 stars
1/20/03 Andrew Callaway Very good. But, the movie doesn't go any deeper than the diologue 4 stars
1/16/03 MovieFan One of the funniest, lightest movies of the year. A must see!! 5 stars
1/13/03 Benjamin Leatherman A fun and loose movie that didn't fall prey to the usual traps in a romantic comedy. 5 stars
1/10/03 Mitsaso Matt and Anonymous can suck each other's dick!!! 4 stars
1/04/03 jim Buckley A lot of fun 5 stars
12/28/02 Anonymous My Big Fat Greek Wedding can suck My Big Fat Italian Dick 1 stars
12/28/02 Matt "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? More like: My Big Fat Gay Wedding. 2 stars
12/22/02 Nair de Farias The movie is wonderfull! Nia Vardalos is wonderfull to, i just love her!!! 5 stars
12/17/02 Brian Miller The movie had me laughing so hard my face hurt. 5 stars
12/15/02 viking Good wholesome fun 4 stars
12/09/02 PyThomas My only question: How in the hell did a guy from NSYNC get in this nice film & not ruin it? 4 stars
11/19/02 Bridget Haven't seen it so I don't know if its good or not! 1 stars
10/27/02 Matthew Smith has it moments of laughter, but we have seen it all before 3 stars
10/21/02 hum fun 4 stars
10/07/02 Incubassist I thought it was completely chamless, some very witty lines here and there though 2 stars
10/03/02 girl hilarious and endearing 5 stars
9/30/02 Sophia So fucking funny I pulled a muscle, fortunately I had Windex. 5 stars
9/24/02 poetchuck Funny, funny, could be any ethnic wedding I've attended 5 stars
9/24/02 Kathy Cox Wonderful! One of the best comedies I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
9/21/02 ajay very very funny 5 stars
9/21/02 Michaelb14 a simple unpretentious family comedy, damn good! 5 stars
9/19/02 Movie Kings woman Loved it! Actually made me laugh outside and that is hard to do. 5 stars
9/18/02 A Great film. Puts the bigger movies to shame 5 stars
9/12/02 Bueller A sweet little unpretentious movie that deserves no hype. A low budget greek "Moonstruck". 3 stars
9/06/02 grunter "Everybody Loves Raymond:The Movie" - nothing to see but CBS sitcom swill 1 stars
8/31/02 The Spam Handler Really good movie written by who probably knows it best 5 stars
8/17/02 Sean Horan Awesome movie! Touching, original, and damn funny! 5 stars
8/08/02 bj hilarious 5 stars
7/30/02 Martha Mero great movie, very enjoyble 5 stars
7/08/02 sandy best ever 5 stars
6/30/02 Nicole Windex.....haha. One of the funniest movies I have seen 5 stars
5/12/02 Teresa Predictable butnice story.Enjoyable.Alsosee MonsoonWedding.Fable:Families canbe overcome. 4 stars
5/10/02 Heather Very funny movie 5 stars
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  19-Apr-2002 (PG)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



Directed by
  Joel Zwick

Written by
  Nia Vardalos

  Nia Vardalos
  Gia Carides
  John Corbett
  Joey Fatone
  Ian Gomez
  Bruce Gray

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