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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 EricDSnider

"The adjectives 'hairy' and 'swarthy' should have been used, too."
5 stars

The humor in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" boils down to this: Aren't Greek people funny. Fortunately, the answer is yes, and this is one of the funniest, most joyous movies to come along since the Greeks invented comedy.

It was written by Nia Vardalos, who also stars as Toula Portokalos, an unattractive second-generation Greek girl whose destiny is to marry a Greek man and make Greek babies. Her parents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), have this hope for her; she, however, lacks self-confidence. She works at the family restaurant (Dancing Zorba's) and has dreams of attending college, but old-fashioned Greek Dad is generally opposed to educating women.

She goes for it, though, and learns some makeup tips and visits a hairstylist. She also meets an English-teacher dreamboat named Ian Miller (John Corbett), who adores her. They date. They fall in love. But how far can it go, with him being a non-Greek?

With this sort of movie, you know the plot almost as soon as it begins. Toula's parents -- especially Dad -- will object to the relationship, and object even more to the marriage, and then they will get over it and embrace Ian. Some things turn out a lot messier in real life, but in the sunny world of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," conflicts are handled with yelling, emotion and love. And then everybody eats and dances. The movie lives in a world that makes the rest of us envious.

The performances are dazzling, from Vardalos as the self-deprecating Toula, to Corbett's romantic Ian, to Louis Mandylor as Toula's sweet younger brother, to Andrea Martin as a sharp, nosy aunt. ("I could snap you like chicken!" she yells in regards to Toula's perceived thinness.)

And let's not overlook Kazan and Constantine as Toula's parents, Gia Carides as her trashy cousin, and Fiona Reid and Bruce Gray as Ian's ultra-white, thoroughly confused parents. The cast is huge -- Greek families are huge -- and there is character and humor on every face.

It might be accurate to say many of the characters are stereotypes, but it is fair to point out that stereotypical people exist in real life, too. (That's how we GET stereotypes.) I don't see the lack of depth in Toula's parents, for example, as a flaw in the writing. I see those characters as being real people who happen to be of the "what you see is what you get" variety. Not everyone has complicated motives for their actions. Everything Gus Portokalos does everything out of love for his family, and out of tradition. (Well, he also believes Windex can cure any physical ailment. I don't know where THAT comes from.)

There is a moment at the wedding when, for me, the movie passes the level of Very Funny Comedy and becomes a Great Film. As Toula walks down the aisle, we notice the groom's side of the church has five or six people in it, while the bride's side has dozens. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents -- everyone is there for Toula's special day. They're all there for family dinners and other events, too, special or not. They're a huge, loud, obnoxious, wonderful family that lives life with passion and enthusiasm.

Anyone who comes from a large family will tell you that it's reassuring to be surrounded by so many people who love you, no matter how crazy they are. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" doesn't just celebrate the ideas of family, tradition and love; it worships them.

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originally posted: 06/06/02 03:37:42
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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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