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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
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Slyder

"Come on over, have some lamb, fun and a few laughs"
5 stars

Word of mouth can be a very powerful advertising tool if used the right way with the right kind of product. To be honest, I did hear something regarding this movie when it came out in 2002 making the rounds at the Indie festivals at the beginning of the year. That’s all I had ever heard about that movie and then simply forgot about it at that point. But then suddenly, as the year progressed, I started hearing slowly but surely about this movie yet again; and people at work and in school were talking about it and how delightful and funny and great this movie was. Even on this website’s forum, the talk persisted about this flick. I never once saw a preview on TV, and the only hype I saw was on the Entertainment shorts in the news. And then suddenly the movie popped into the top 5 high grossing movies of that year, and stayed persistently there for the longest time, and although it didn’t make it past I believe Number 4 on the Box Office, it was confirmed as one of the biggest hits of the year, grossing like $241 million in the States and $368 million worldwide. Hell, it even got an Oscar nomination. I never got around to watch it to be honest until recently when a friend of mine at work loaned me her copy of the film. I paid no mind to the hype, and I just watched it hoping to get at least a decent and entertaining romantic comedy; and I managed to get that and a bit more. It was fun!

Made by a measly $5 million dollar budget, this is one of those underdog movies that come once in a blue moon to prove that they have what it takes to compete against the big-budget great flicks and cluster-fucks and kick ass all over. And it’s hard not to see why. It’s engaging, genuinely funny, even insightful regarding the culture that it honors and satirizes, and yes it’s a little lightweight but you won’t deny what great fun it is. The movie studios knew this, and while reading the back-story of this flick, it’s amazing how close this little story almost got ripped to shreds by the studio bigwigs by wanting to change the backgrounds to Italian and putting top-billing stars on the lead roles. Thankfully, the film’s screenwriter and star Nia Vardalos and her merry crew, which included the husband-and-wife backing team of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and TV director Joel Zwick, told them to fuck off and went on to make the movie on their own terms; kudos for Mrs. Vardalos and company for sticking to their guns.

So, right in the middle of the Chicago suburbs we find Toula Portokalos (Vardalos), a 30-year-old woman whom is going through a frumpy and depressed phase. The reason why? She’s seen as a failure amongst the family for the simple reason of not having found Mr. Right all this time. According to Greek culture, a woman’s duty is to marry a Greek man, have Greek babies, and feed every one of them until the day you die. Case in point, her older sister Athena (Sarah Osman), whom is married and has already 3 kids. Toula works at Dancin’ Zorba’s Restaurant as a hostess. The restaurant is run by her mom Maria (Lanie Kazan) and her dad Gus (Michael Constantine), while she, her younger brother Nick (Louis Mandylor), and her other siblings work the tables and the kitchen. And it is during those days when she decides very wobbly to do something with her life and pursue a computer-programming career. But while she’s still deciding to do it, all of a sudden comes Ian Miller (John Corbett), a tall good-looking everyman and University teacher, who almost immediately sweeps her off her feet right there and there. Toula though, pushes on, and goes to computer classes and once finished, she moves out of the restaurant and begins helping out her Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) at her Travel Agency; and even better, she now sports a better look. And then again, Ian suddenly strolls around the same neighborhood and they meet again. They go out, and they fall in love, and soon the marriage question will arise. There’s only one problem; Ian’s not Greek, and that doesn’t sit well within her family, especially her hard-line dad Gus, who at first refuses to accept the relationship. However, this is just the beginning of the ordeal for both Toula and Ian, as the Greeks have some really special ways in order to celebrate this very special joy of life.

Lets get one thing clear first; this is just one big basic formula movie, one that can trace its origins all the way from Father of the Bride to several other romantic films where the gal goes against the odds and challenges her family to accept her man. Been there, done that. So, by tracing this out, you’d probably be thinking that this film is going to be yet another pathetic excuse of a romantic comedy, right? It is not. And let me tell you why: it’s a fucking riot from start to finish. Vardalos and director Joel Zwick paint this film with a very honest and down-to-earth approach. A big key in achieving that is the unknown factor of the cast; many of these people are unknowns, at least to me. I’ve never heard of Vardalos before, or John Corbett for that matter (though I heard he’s done TV work before). These people look like the ordinary people you have met in every day life, not the glamour infested “families” you see every day in your typical Hollywood flicks. Take for instance Vardalos’s character Tuola; she’s not a hot looking woman by any means; she’s a large, chubby yet very attractive woman in her own right, with her own sense of wit and charisma. John Corbett doesn’t have the heartthrob type you’d see in people like DiCaprio or Gylenhall or Depp or Pitt; he just looks like a regular guy with long hair (which hints towards his own blend of eccentricity) who seems to want a bit more out of life than just teaching at the University. These are two very real people that we can relate to; they are completely believable and are ultimately destined to live together.

It’s always fun to know and find out about the traditions and customs from other cultures, whether it is paying tribute to them or satirizing them. This of course is abundantly present in Toula’s big fat Greek family, and especially her dad. The Greeks are a very proud people, proud in their history and traditions, and this is exemplified hilariously in Gus, whom goes on and on how everything in life and in literature and Christ knows what else derives from the ancient Greeks. Gus then gets pissed because her daughter is going to marry a foreigner, and then puts him to the test by forcing Ian to convert into the Greek Orthodox faith (in a pretty hilarious baptism scene). Toula’s mother Maria is more of a strong-willed yet faithful wife, who knows a couple of things in life regarding womanhood; and she gets to stomp on her husband whenever he tries to presume how the man is the head of the house! Aunt Vuola is a very wacky lady, and even has a pretty creepy story regarding her “twin”. The rest of the family, which includes a voluptuous cousin who has a former N’Sync member as her boyfriend, just adds to the colorful cast of characters that love to eat meat, drink Ouzo, talk about Greek pastimes, and dance their hearts out to the sound of Greek music and scream Ohpa in excitement. And all of this while Ian’s parents sit by the sidelines and watch with complete bemusement, totally clueless, and maybe even with shock as well, at the eccentricities of a “circus show” of a family like this. For them, its intriguing yet at the same time odd and maybe terrifying, which is the great pleasure of meeting an unknown culture that lives and breaths life to the fullest on these occasions (and their reactions to them are just as funny). Zorba the Greek would definitely be very proud!

It’s completely pointless for me to keep going on. To continue to type words telling you how refreshingly funny and hilarious this movie is, would be compared to me wasting your time on the art of spreading butter on crackers. The film is just fucking great fun to watch. It may not be the biggest thing since sliced bread, and it may ultimately be forgotten by the masses once the hype has made its run, but it’s ultimately a movie to spend a jolly good time whenever you want to feel happy and/or would like to compare just how eccentric your family actually is compared to Toula’s family. Either way, you’ll have a blast. This is how at least a decent romantic comedy should definitely be. Oh-pa! 4.5-5

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originally posted: 07/24/08 16:47:10
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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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