Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

by Jake Sproul

Rating: (out of )

Its been dubbed, "The Little Film That Could," and rightfully so. No one at IFC Films thought that My Big Fat Greek Wedding would become a national phenomenon and gross over 100 million dollars on a 5 million budget. But it has, and rightfully so. MBFGW is an utter delight! It is movie worthy of its success, and your money. It is interesting to note that the producers of MBFGW are none other than Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson. I am sure even Mr. Blockbuster himself didnít expect this much of a response from the film.

It has been a while since the public has had access to such as clean, hilarious, and a film that is just such unbridled fun! With that being said, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is not anything new to the world of romantic comedies, it is a classic tale with an ethnic twist. But it is sure done right!

The narrator of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is Toula Portakolas. As you have already guess, Toula and her family are Greek. And while the rest of her family love their heritage, Toula feels trapped by it. The expectation that all Greek girls are supposed to marry Greek boys, and have Greek babies is too much for her. After a makeover and a new job, Toula feels like things are beginning to go right for her, until she meets Mr. Right, but to her family, Mr. Wrong...a [gasp] non-Greek. Mr. Wrong/Right, or Ian Miller, and Toula soon fall in love and get married, and the two must concur the only obstacle in their way, Toulaís family. Toula finds that her Greek heritage is frowning upon her love, but soon she finds herself in a self-discovery and learning to be proud of her ancestry. This is only half of the plot for My Big Fat Greek Wedding though, the romance half. Let us not forget that My Big Fat Greek Wedding also dipped its hand deep into the cookie jar of...

...Comedy! My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a hilarious film, and all the comedy comes from the richly robust family of Toula. There is the stubborn father who is hell-bent on tradition, the over protective brother and cousin, the mother who is always making food, with a side of guilt. Not to mention the other 30+ members that they consider their "immediate family."

Both parts of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding plot, the romance and the comedy, work. The romance is just as entertaining as the comedy. However, neither presents the audience with any really new formulas or innovations. On the other hand though, I am glad they didnít try any new ideas. Judging from the recent batch of romantic-comedies (Serving Sara, Mr. Deeds), Hollywood has forgotten how to truly construct this classic formula. Maybe now they will take a hint.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a heart-warming tale that will make you feel wonderful upon exiting the theater. And as I have said, the fact that MBFGW introduces nothing new in its successful quest for audience pleasure, and that is a disappointment. While it is fun to see a used plot deliciously recycled, it is even better to see a new plot done well. While the parts that the actors have been commissioned to play are stereotypes, they all play them with gusto. I honestly wouldnít be surprised to see a few Oscar nominations head the way of MBFGW come this March. The only non-juicy part in the film is that of Ian. And even with such a dry part, he performs well.

This is the first Joel Zwick's first film directorial effort, and Nia Vardolas' first writing credit. The two compliment each other nicely and the product of their efforts is surprisingly effective for 2 novices. They don't wonder off the track of the film's course, and they never loss site of their characters, something that even experienced directors and writiers can't always accomplish.

It is a rare feet for an indie film to make a serious breakthrough, mainstream. My Big Fat Greek Wedding has done just that. While not an original film, it is one of those films that make feel great, and at the same time, provide you with a heart-felt romance and a tale of self-discovery, as well as some hilarious comedy. This is what a romantic comedy is supposed to be. While you may be tempted to spend your time seeing the big blockbusters like Signs, xXx, and Austin Powers in Goldmember, you would be a wise person in choosing to see this pleasant diversion. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a yummy piece a baklava in a cinematic landscape littered with Big Macs.

© 2002 Jake Sproul

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