Some of the biggest successes are the smallest of films, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a perfect example. The movie came out in limited release on April 19, 2002, and it has consistently been in the top twenty for several months. It is now August, and though it is in its fourth month of release, it is currently at number six on the box office chart. Is it luck? No. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of the funniest movies to grace theaters in a long time.
Though it could have just as easily been titled My Big Fat Italian Wedding, or My Big Fat Hungarian Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Wedding tells the story of a Greek-American woman who is not all to excited about being surrounded by Greeks all the time. Her family is deeply religious and obsessed with their past culture (their garage door looks like the Greek flag), and only want her to get married to a Greek man and have many Greek children. So when she starts dating - and falls in love with - a man who is definitely not Greek, trouble, and comedy, ensue.
Nia Vardalos stars as Toula, the woman mentioned above. She works well as a person conflicted between what her family thinks and what she wants - a pretty typical American (if not worldly) situation. She's funny in a reserved way, just as John Corbett is as Ian Miller, but the real treat is the rest of the family. Michael Constantine plays Gus, her father; he is hilarious. I don't know that much about Greek families (even though I am a quarter Greek), but if Greek fathers are anything like this, I don't know how people could handle it. He's lovable and slightly psychotic at the same time (he thinks Windex fixes all problems). The mother (Laine Kazan) is also very funny, as is the grandmother, who spends half the time trying to escape from the household because she thinks it has been invaded by the Turks.
From beginning to end, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is hilarious. The characters are great, the dialogue is witty, and every situation has a little surprise for the audience. There are many laugh-out-loud scenes, and you don't need to be Greek to enjoy this film.
The movies that deserve the most praise get the shortest reviews, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a perfect example of that, as well. It's definitely worth seeing, and the way it's going, it'll be out for another four months, so there is no excuse not to see it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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