|My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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Toula Portokalos is a quiet, devoted daughter in a big, hectic, crazy Greek family. Working at her father's restaurant, "Dancing Zorba's," she hides behind a mop of mousy brown hair and thick, impenetrable glasses, keeping her family close and the world at a distance. But one day at the restaurant, she finds herself pouring coffee for a man so strikingly good-looking, that he inspires her to change her life - and the way she sees the world - forever. With a new hairdo, wardrobe, contact lenses, and most important of all, a whole new attitude, Toula steps out into the world a new woman, all ready to meet her man. Ian Miller is tall, handsome, but definitely not Greek. And whether he can handle Toula, her parents, her aunts, uncles, cousins and several centuries of Greek culture remains to be seen. But when you see the world through Toula's eyes, anything is possible!
It's not surprising that My Big Fat Greek Wedding grew more popular over the course of its theatrical release (whereas most blockbusters open big and then drop precipitously)--not only does it have believable situations and engaging characters, but these characters (particularly our romantic heroine, Toula, played by writer and performer Nia Vardalos) look like actual human beings instead of plastic movie stars. The result is the very accessible tale of Greek-American Toula (whose family sees her as over the hill at 30), who falls for a WASPy guy named Ian (John Corbett) and then has to endure the outrage, doubt, and ultimate acceptance of her deeply ethnically centered family. The actors invest their wildly stereotypical portrayals with sincerity and compassion, giving the movie an honest warmth instead of Hollywood schmaltz. But My Big Fat Greek Wedding ultimately succeeds because of Vardalos; her intelligent, down-to-earth presence and charm carry the film. --Bret Fetzer
- Best comedy ever
Watching this movie with my family was pure joy. We all laughed and sometimes, were able to relate with poor Tula's Greek family. (Though we are Asian, some of her pains of family we understood)
Growing up as an awkward girl with a family that really values their homeland, Tula was always ashamed of being Greek with a huge family. And, her parent's obvious pride in be Greek. (It really shows when their house is modeled after the Greek parthenon and their garage is painted with the Greek flag.) Always wanting to fit in with the society that she lives in today, but never being able to fully do so because all the other girls were "blond and delicate".
Finally being able to find the "perfect" man, her family disagrees. Her father being the strong opposer because he is non-Greek. The ending of this movie is perfect and shows how Tula realizes the true value of what her family is worth.
This is a movie that you will love watching over and over again, laughing at the same jokes. I highly recommend it for anybody looking for a "best comedy of the year" movie. ...more info
- BIG FAT (GEEK) WEDDING!
This is the corniest movie I've ever seen! I can't believe
anyone on this planet, could like this crap! If The old man
took a bottle of windex, and shoved it up his wazoo, that
would be funny! (THIS MOVIE BLOWS!)
- Best Movie Ever!!!
I loved this movie! I'm watching right now! (I've already watched 5 times today.)...more info
This movie gets better each time I watch it, its like the wedding singer. will alway's satisfy your craving for a movie and a snack. ...more info
- SEEN IT 100+ TIMES
I GOT THIS MOVIE FOR MY SELF I HAVE SEEN IT LIKE 100+ TIMES JUST LOVE IT...more info
- VERY IMPORTANT - WE KNOW IT'S LONG, BUT PLEASE, EVERYONE, READ THIS, WHETHER YOU THINK YOU ARE FOR THIS MOVIE OR AGAINST IT
If you have not already heard what I'm going to say in this review, then I promise you that what I will say will REALLY SURPRISE you, whether you are for this movie or against it. I think the subject is very important, and I took it very seriously, and put a lot of time and effort into it, so I ask you kindly to please read my review all the way to the end, even if you think you don't agree. I apologize for the length of the review, but you will understand why I made it so by the time you get to the end. I promise you, that at the end, you will at least agree that it's a unique review and was worth your time to read. I represent The Council of Greek Americans, a group of Greek professionals from North America. Many of our members were born and raised in Greece. We are concerned about the image of the Greek people, and that's why we take very seriously this movie and any other things in the culture that claim to represent Greeks.
Our (the Council's) main point here is this: if you haven't heard already, this movie, though it does have some good elements, is actually NOT TRUE. And we mean REALLY NOT TRUE. And it's not what the public relations machine of the movie said; such as "it's just a parody" or "it just exaggerates stereotypes" and "sometimes we should make fun of the Greeks, just like we make fun of all different nationalities". Actually we have no problem with making fun of the Greeks sometimes. But this movie is not that; this movie is actually REALLY NOT TRUE. You can make fun of nationalities, but it has to be basically true at least! This movie is like making fun of Germans for making pizza, or making fun of Italians for making weinerschnitzel - it's just plain not true. It's like, some things in the movie ARE actually funny, or touching, or moving, etc. - we admit that - you see we're really trying to be objective. But that's if it were true though, which it's not!
And are you ready for another surprise? Greeks have actually been misrepresented in many parts of the society and culture, for a LONG TIME now. Thus the Greeks have a major problem right now. So why does the general public not know about this? Put very simply, there has just been no big effort to tell them about it. We believe firmly that the public is not that morally bad; they're not consciously trying to be unfair to the Greeks; there are just certain issues, such as this one, that they JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT.
And the misrepresentation of the Greeks causes major misunderstandings about even the most basic traits of the Greeks; Greeks don't act like what a certain part of the general public seems to think they do, they don't look like that, they don't have that culture, they don't have that history, even the climate of their home country is misrepresented somewhat, etc. And recently the misrepresentation has GOTTEN MUCH WORSE - much more false. Such as this movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. What My Big Fat G W and that Australian "Wogsploitation" stuff portrays, is so false that it's not Greek at all - it's Italian. By the way, no offense against Italians. We actually think that Italians are somewhat misrepresented too. But if those extreme Italian stereotypes are not even true of the Italians, they sure aren't true of the Greeks - no one ever used to look at the Greeks that way, until My Big Fat GW came out. People, both the Greeks and the Italians have been in America since the later 1800's - for 130 years - and the Greeks were never known as acting like that, for that whole long time. And the Italians on the other hand were known as acting like that. What are you saying, that the Greeks were acting like that for that whole time, but the Americans just weren't noticing them, but they did notice the Italians? Oh please. Believe me, if the Greeks were acting like that, the Americans would have noticed it - remember that America used to be more racist in the past. And also, Greeks don't even look like what they're portrayed to look like in MBFGW. Are you starting to see now what a strange situation this is? Look up the facts and history and see for yourself - to make a broad generalization, in the US in around 1870-1930, the Anglo-Saxons and other oldest Americans were at the top of the hierarchy; the Jewish people and the Italians suffered more prejudice; the Greeks, Poles, Hungarians, etc., suffered prejudice also, but to a lesser extent. What MBFGW portrays is actually the old Jewish and Italian stereotypes - the person supposedly has a big family, and they always stick together, and they won't let the person breathe, etc - those are NOT TRUE about the Greeks. And then, in the course of time, all these ethnic groups became more mainstream in America - but especially the Greeks did. They had a Vice-President of the country in the 1960's - Spiro Agnew - and almost a president in the 1980's - Michael Dukakis!
But anyway, this movie...that's actually so funny...the Greeks were never portrayed or perceived that way before, in world history, and then, in 2002, this movie comes out and everyone just reacted like, of course it was true! We'll just swallow it, no problem! Lol! What we especially don't understand are the people over a certain age, who KNEW BETTER, who knew Greeks were never perceived to be like this before in history, yet who still allowed this movie to exist without protest, in 2002! That's just amazing. And many Greek Americans themselves kind of allowed this movie too - we admit that (again, you see how we try to be objective). That's one of the weirdest things out of all of it. What can we say? Even many Greek Americans themselves just don't know anything about their Greek heritage that means. This is actually a major problem - and not just in America; also, we think, in the whole English-speaking world.
To start to fight against the wrong idea of the Greeks, learn the true facts and history - see for yourself. The best movie to watch is Eleni. After that, another interesting movie is The Truce; it has some flaws, but it is also good. Also, get the books: The Greek Americans, by Monos, and Whiteness of a Different Color (a complete history of the interaction of all the different ethnic groups in the English-speaking world). Learn from these movies and books, and then go on to learn from other sources, about the history and nature of the Greek people, and see for yourself if what we say about the Greeks in this review is true.
Again - ALL the evidence supports what we are saying; notice how the movie only lasted a few months, and then, the bandwagon died down, and there has not been much follow-up in the past 8 years since it was released. And did you know that a group of prominent Greeks from California went to Hollywood when the movie was first released in 2002, and protested, and it was that protest that stopped the follow-up TV show My Big Fat Greek Life in early 2003? And did you know that Vardalos and them tried to take the movie to Greece itself in 2003, and then AGAIN in 2004, during the Athens Olympics, and it failed miserably, not once, but BOTH times! You think we're making this up, it's so strange. Again, we challenge you - research it yourself - ask people who are actually Greeks recently arrived from Greece. The situation is just amazing; anyone who knows the real truth about the Greeks, refers to this movie as "that big fat piece of garbage". Yet is STILL has not been officially denounced in the US and certain other parts of the world.
Related to that, we at the Council say that all of us Greeks need to wake up and see that we are facing a huge problem right now, and we need to get together and do something about it. We will soon put on this review an email address to contact us. We welcome true debate on this subject (though we will not respond to hate mail and the like, and will report whoever sends such stuff to the proper Internet authorities). To the people who misrepresent the Greeks, we say: the more you keep it up, the more foolish you will look when we real Greeks take major steps to set the record strait. We know just what will have the most impact - we're either going to break the story to the news media, or we're going to make a big movie that will be seen by many people. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please tell other people what you've read here. ...more info
- Greek Cinderella
4.5 stars. One of my favorites-mainly because I'm a sucker for good romance movies-the cheesier, the better. Vardalos, in my humble opinion, was very brave to go on camera without her makeup. This movie gave hope to a lot of plain Janes when Toula captured the heart of Ian. (John Corbett from Sex and the City Fame). Her loud, overbearing and obnoxious family are adorable in their own way. Overall, highly recommended....more info
- One more 5 star review
This movie is just cute, funny and silly. It contains believable looking people too...no anorexic celebrities with veneers on their teeth. And yes, it's a lighthearted piece but it doesn't follow many of the same tired clich¨¦s as other romantic-comedies. The plot is easy and fun, yet clever.
As someone who is half Greek, I found it easy to relate to and laugh at the Greek culture jokes. Incidentally, like the main character in the movie, Toula, my mother was the first person in her entire family to "breed" with a non-Greek. Also, I can attest many Greeks I have known seem to believe eating is the solution to any problem you might have. "But mom, I love him." "Toula eat something!"
Let's just say I am aware that there are Greeks who find this movie "not funny". Maybe they just don't enjoy the humor, which is fine but, if they find this movie offensive and racist I would just say lighten up. ...more info
- Not just for Greeks
I didn't see this film when it was in the theaters, in spite of rave reviews. It seemed to be a pretty obvious story which didn't interest me.
Recently I picked it up at the library (for free) and, to my surprise, I found it genuinely heartwarming and entertaining.
As others have mentioned, it is sort of a re-hash of Moonstruck, and it isn't as well done. And yes be prepared for a lot of ethnic stereotypes--the loud Greeks with the garish taste as well as the uptight WASPS. And yes, we know from the opening scene what's going to happen. I think that the reason the movie overcomes these flaws is the overwhelming love in it. You can tell that it's a real story and that's what lifts it up from cliche to something genuinely touching.
The script is smart and funny. It moves fast. And the cast is first rate. To some, the idea that the very homely 30-ish girl in the restaurant would stand a chance with the superbly hunky Ian Miller (played by the irrestable John Corbett) seems impossible. But the actress is so funny, so real, and so smart, that she really does have enormous appeal.
I am always happy to see the wonderful Laine Kazan, who makes every scene a heartwarmer. The fellow who played the dad is perfect, too, as are all of the others. I particulary loved the gramma!
I recently saw Monsoon Wedding, which was also lauded and can be compared in many ways to this film. But Monsoon Wedding nowhere touched the genuineness of this work.
It's not the most artfully impressive film ever made, but, like the big fat family (including the newcomer,) it has plenty of heart...and that's worth a lot!...more info
I work in a Greek restaurant owned by a first generation Greek family, and I watched this movie after my boss recommended it to me. Now, normally I am not a woman that is into "chick flicks", but this movie was great!
Some of the things that had me laughing the hardest, was how many of the Greek stereotypes that ARE actually true! I laughed out loud when I realized that Toula's father was named Gus, and his brother was named George...and half of the males in Toula's family were named Nick! It just so happens that my boss is named Gus, his brother is George, and my boss's youngest son is indeed named Nick! *laughing*
The restaurant and family scenes made me feel like I was right back at work!
- Excellent movie
The one line in the movie that made it a hit for me was,"you are worth it." After that, I just sat back and enjoyed the fun and sweetness of this movie....more info
- WORST MOVIE OF ALL TIME
I vote this as one of the worst movies of ALL TIME. Not just because of its unfunny story, or bad acting, but because it was enormously popular, for some unknown reason. I'm still completely shocked that nearly everyone IN THE ENITRE WORLD thought this movie was hilarious. No, I'm not Greek, and no, I haven't been married. I'm sure most of the people that saw and loved this movie weren't either. I've been able to relate more to films made in the 40's set in other countries than to this rubbish. EVERY bit of this movie was nearly unwatchable. HA HA WINDEX IS FUNNY. HAHA GREEK PEOPLE ARE FUNNY. Any movie with an N'Sync member in it should be avoided, especially with that fist-clenching smug smile on his unimpressive face....more info
- Heart-Warming Comedy and Romance
Nia Vardalas stars as Toula, the plain unadorned 30 year old single, "unmarried" daughter of a Greek family who have successfully assimilated into American life. They are the owners of "Dancing Zorba's" a popular neighborhood Greek Restaurant in Chicago. Like Greeks everywhere, the cultural values are instilled into the offspring early in life and the extended family is *most* important ... it is central to their lives. This film is a light-hearted comedy which exaggerates some of the amusing moments about a good obedient daughter who is trying to meet the expectations of her Greek immigrant parents and who is also trying to be independent and make a life for herself.
While fulfilling her parents wishes and living within the cultural milieu of the family, Toula dreams of some independence ... she realizes she can contribute something more than being a seating hostess and cashier at the family restaurant. She recalls being in grammar school when she was the only dark brown haired girl, sitting alone eating her packed lunch, home-made "moussaka". At the next table a group of blond haired girls were laughing and asked her what she was eating, Toula told them. Afterwards, one had mocked her food, calling it "moose kaka", making all the girls giggle. At that age Toula felt she was an outsider ... now as a young adult, she wants to spread her wings, take a course at the local university, prove her self-worth and that she is intelligent, not so different from everyone else. She receives the support of her mother and Aunt who convince her dad that she would be a valuable asset at her Aunt's travel agency ... he agrees and they exchange family employees, her male cousin will work at Dancing Zorbas, while Toula will work at the travel agency. After this point in the film, Toula blossoms from a "plain Jane" into an attractive young lady who begins expressing her own interests apart from the family circle. While working at the agency ... a young man walks past the window and waves to her. She recalls he was a customer at Dancing Zorba's, when she was plainly dressed, awkward and shy, while serving him coffee. Now, she is both embarrassed and flatterred by his amusing antics as he tries to capture her attention when working. His ploy works ... they meet and date. Toula makes excuses to the family that she is taking a pottery class in the evening so that she can see Ian Miller, who is a grammar school teacher and vegetarian. He comes from a family that is best described as W.A.S.P.
The film has a superb build up of comedy and suspense as Toula and Ian become more serious. They learn about their unique differences but appreciate each other even more and consider them assets. One of the climaxes in the film is when Toula's female cousin catches her kissing Ian at the travel agency ... The cousin mentions the family knows Toula is dating a non-Greek because an Aunt saw them together and spread the news like wild fire. Ian learns protocol and asks Gus Portokalas, Toula's dad, for permission to date his daughter. Gus refuses because Ian is not Greek. Eventually, the families meet and iron out their differences as both Toula and Ian fall further in love ... The manner in which the couple win over Toula's dad and family is the stuff of great comedy. Both families gradually accept that Toula and Ian are meant for each other and will get married ... but only *after* Ian agrees to convert to the Greek Orthodox so he can marry within her church. Anyone familiar with Greeks who live in the USA will recognize the amusing characters, typical behavior and values that are so realisticlly portrayed in this film. The cast of characters is perfect. This film will appeal to a large audience of different age groups who enjoy comedy and romance.
Erika Borsos (erikab93)...more info
- MBFGW is more about real life than moviemaking
This isn't really a review of the movie, but how I feel the issues in the movie relate to real life situations....Many people think this movie is stereotypical or fake. I think many who are in multicultural relationships would disagree....
The commercial for this movie does something interesting. When displaying the title at the end of the commercial, the title switches from Italian to Chinese to Indian, among other cultures. This is relevant because I think the topics and feeling that both the main character and the parents go through is pretty much universal.
I guess you would have to be apart of this immigrant culture to understand this. My female cousins, all Orientals, married outside their cultural group (Polish, Scottish, Italian, Argentinian, Irish, etc.) and they all went through this. After listening to my parents, it looks like my aunts and uncles who had to deal with the foreign sons-in-laws and in-laws, also had it tough and many of them complained to their daughters on why they couldn't find a nice Asian male.
Toula is a character that seems real to me, because I have friends that are in the same boat. A friend of mine, a high powered lawyer, whose parents are Russian, is scared to death to tell her parents that her love of her life is Jewish. Another friend who is 2nd generation South African has a boyfriend who is Honduran and she feels that their relationship would kill her parents. Immigrant parents want their children to marry within their own cultural groups and it is hard for them to understand why they would go outside their culture when there are so many good Greek/Italian/Indian/WHATEVER guys that are available (at least to what they think).
Toula is a homely girl and lacks self-confidence because her whole life has been about rejecting her culture. She sees that all the pretty girls are WASPY, slim and blonde, while she is the complete opposite and this has hurt her perspective of life. However, for some reason, she wants to break out of the mold and improve herself, not to find a guy but to live her life her own way.
Of course, her parents do not see this, all she needs to do is to follow her advice and she should be happy right? This is the dilemma that many 1st/2nd generation people fall under, it is the New World/Old World conflict that many of us (including guys) can relate to.
She falls for a WASPY guy and he turns out to be nice and kind, he seems to have no bad traits. While many people may scoff at this, I also find that that men (especially my cousins-in-law) who date women outside their cultures, often have more patience and are more willing to accept a second culture than other guys. I don't really see it as much in women in my experience. However, as a movie-going experience, it may come across as pretty boring.
The secondary characters are a hoot, if not a little cartoony. Aunt Voola is played up by Andrea Martin and she has a blast playing the matter of fact aunt. Martin Constantine also does a magnificent job as Gus, Toula's father. He is stubborn and scary for Toula, but all he seems to want is to be told of stuff and have things done the right way (a funny exchange comes when Gus doesn't understand why Ian didn't ask her to go out with Toula and Ian doesn't understand why he would have to ask since she's 30 years old--A funny clash of cultures).
But the best is Maria, played by Lainie Kazan. She may be a little kooky, but she always is wise and knows what to say to make things right. She had my mother nodding in agreement throughout the whole movie when I showed it to her. Other characters like her sister, brother and cousins are merely time-fillers and have little purpose IMO.
Another set of characters that seem to be stereotyped is Ian's parents. I have met alot of ignorant WASP parents, but they seem to be charactiatures of Nia Vardalos' vision of what WASP parents are like.
So overall, I find that MBFGW to be more about real-life than about Hollywood romantic storytelling. In most movies, people meet, hook up, get engaged and get married. Opposed to movies like "How to lose a guy in 10 minutes" which has to go through a whole complicated plotline for people to fall in love. The reason why so many people watched this movie is because they could relate to the nature of this relationship and the issues that it brings. It's about a pretty homely woman who fixes herself out to turn into a regular (if not pretty) girl. She isn't a knockout, but she is interesting and different and for Ian (BTW: her real husband Ian is Mike the teacher in the movie) that is a marrying woman....Rating: B+
- Give me a word, any word...
Toula (Nia Vardalos) is a thirty something, single American Greek girl, and, in the eyes of her family, rapidly becoming over the hill. She herself is bored with her monotonous life, with nothing to do other than work as a waitress in her family's restaurant. One day a man walks into her restaurant and Tula's life is about to change forever. The instant attraction she feels seems to somehow give her the push she needs to climb out of her rut, and she promptly enrols on a college course, learns how to use make up and dress well and, best of all, gets a new job in her Aunts travel agency.
It is while she is working there that the stranger, Ian, reappears in her life. What follows is a heart-warming tale of two people falling in love whilst trying to overcome their differing ethnic backgrounds. Tula's family are determined she should marry a `nice Greek boy' whilst Ian's, (John Corbett), family are very uptight, middle class and horrified by Tula's outgoing, lively, loud and, above all, large family.
The show stealer is Michael Constantine as Mr Portokalos, who believes everyone secretly wants to be Greek and whose favourite occupation is to tell people the origins of words ...of course, in his eyes they all stem from the Greek language, even kimono! His other favourite pastime is using Windex cleaner for everything from cleaning to treating wounds, and recommending the same to anyone who will listen. Constantine plays this role with real humour but also pathos.
The downside of the DVD is the complete lack of extras; it doesn't even have subtitles, which is very annoying when you're hard of hearing. That apart, this is a very funny, yet touching film, that is suitable for all the family to watch.
- This Movie's Sequel-"My Big Fat Greek Divorce!!!"
In this movie we see Toula who is a good Greek girl but is almost 30 and still not married. Perhaps this is what Sophocles had in mind when he wrote about Greek Tragedies. Toula then falls in love with an Anglo Saxon American much to her family's dismay and horror. The irony in this film is while Toula spends her time trying not to be Greek her new fiance does everything he can to be Greek and accepted by her family. He even dumps his friend as Best Man in his Wedding because he is not Greek. I figure that after two years of eating souvlaki and taramosalata he will file for a Big Greek Divorce!!! If you enjoy seeing ethnic stereotypes played out on the big screen then this movie is for you....more info
- No "spoiled little princess perfect" bride here!
The only thing that got me into the theater to see this movie was the fact that the actor playing the brother is a friend of a friend of mine. I was expecting Bridezilla, what I got was a very normal woman. ...more info
- Hilarious comedy!
Oh, my gosh, this romantic comedy was absolutely fall-on-the-floor hilarious! If you are from a family with a strong ethnic background (like I am), you will find this movie hysterically funny. The at-the-time-unknown Nia Vardalos is charming as the heroine, and John Corbett is perfectly cast as her love interest. But it's the huge (and hugely funny) supporting cast that really makes this movie. Strong casting and a well-written and well-executed script make for a great movie. Don't miss this one!!...more info
- Stereotype gone haywire
The first few minutes were promising and then the stereotyping got to be very embarassing. "Look we greeks are funny and weird haha." Laughing at oneself can be a virtue but not if one is trying to make oneself look like a martian.
Anyway, I couldn't get thru this thing....more info
- A big fat fun movie about famliy
Ultimately, every human being is shaped to a degree by their environment. Most people have strong memories of what it was like to grow up and live a certain place at a certain time, with a certain kind of people. But to what degree does a person's growing environment shape their identity? That may be the ultimate question of the surprise hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
At the film's outset the main character Toula describes what it was like growing up in her Greek family where the whole family gets involved in everything family related (and everyone knows everything about everyone). Unfortunately for her, Toula doesn't seem to really LIKE the way that her cultural heritage affects her life. She didn't like going to Greek School in the summertime as a child and eating food that everyone thought was strange-looking while she went to public school. Given her feelings, it's no surprise she wildly unhappy and dreams of nothing more than getting out of where she is when she finds herself about 30 years old, still living at home, and working in the family restaurant.
The truly sad thing about the beginning of this movie is that at the outset, everyone seems to have given up on Toula's having any future life prospects. According to the old-fashioned Greek tradition (she informs us) a Greek woman has only three obligations: to marry a Greek, have lots of Greek children, and cook lots of Greek food. Imagine her family's confusion when Toula starts to have ideas about living her own life and (God forbid) deciding for herself what kind of person she wants to marry.
Things really get moving when Toula sees a handsome stranger one day in the restaurant where she works, and then decides to start to make some self changes. She changes her hairstyle and gets contact lenses for eyes (among other things). She takes some college courses (partially thanks to her mother's skillful manipulation of her father) and (again thanks to her mother's people skills) starts working for another relative who runs a travel agency. Here she again meets her handsome stranger, and the two hit it off almost instantly. Naturally doesn't recognize her at first (she has changed her appearance so much), and at first Toula tries to hide her cultural background, ashamed of the truth and fearful of scaring him off.
When Toula does tell her new boyfriend about her wild, crazy family, she quickly decides that they are too different and the relationship cannot possibly work out. It's a good thing the guy is open-minded and adaptable. He fails to see how his new-found love could possibly be undone by Toula's family. "So your parents are weird. Whose parents aren't?" he asks. But he soon finds out what her parents are like, and then that there is much more to her family than just her parents.
The section of the movie that follows is just classic because Toula is trying to hide from her family what she is doing, and when they find out it's like a teenager seeing a boy behind her parents' back (even though Toula is 30!). When her family and friends find out what is really going it results in some of the most hilarious scenes in the movie. Toula's father asks the man why he didn't ask for his permission to see his daughter, and he replies that it seems a little odd because she's middle-aged... Then her father says that a respectful man would ask his permission, and so the he does, only to be told no immediately! Of course no one can get in the way of love between two adults, so despite her family's objections, Toula becomes engaged to the man of her dreams and the real nightmare begins...
There's culture shock for the unsuspecting parents of the future husband, juvenile tricks played on him by Toula's brothers ("If you hurt her, I'll kill ya!...Just kidding!"), the baptism of a man nearing middle age, and the shocking revelation to Toula's relatives that he future husband is a vegetarian ("What do you mean he don't eat meat!!!!...Is okay, I make lamb."). All of this makes for great comedy, as well as a great display of how cultural differences can make something that's innocent and harmless to one culture look terrifying to another.
Ultimately though, love (both romantic and familial) triumphs in the end, and Toula comes to the realization her family does indeed make up part of who she is, and is something to be proud of. The real point for me where I saw that things had come full circle was when at the wedding, the father who had once rejected the groom was now welcoming both him and his family as part of his own, and one of the relatives looked on her new in-law and said "Right now, he LOOKS Greek." Love and understanding, that's what life is all about. And ultimately, that's what this movie is all about. Great stuff....more info
- A rare treasure of endearing fun... applies to any cross culture relationships!!!
May 5th, 2007. Alessandra Prado, Alex Ariano and I visited Martha Oliva who is at home recuperating from foot problems and we brought her this DVD to watch as a group... the best medicine available... for this movie is a rare treasure of endearing fun... which applies to any cross cultural relationships!!!
The plot is simple, a young Greek woman, still living with her parents at the age of 30, under a domineering father who tells her she is "looking old" and not yet married, falls in love with a rather handsome University professor, who does not share her heritage, her sense of belonging to a large family, or her cultural identity.
Toula Portokalos, played by Nia Vardalos, works as a waitress in her family's Greek restaurant, "Dancing Zorba's" and one day sees the handsome Ian Miller come in to meet one of his friends and she falls in love at first sight. She is entranced by his sight, he notices her, but she can not believe it possible.
Toula is inspired to look for more out of life and enrolls in PC classes at the University, the dialogue of her parents as they decide whether a "woman should be educated" or not, is simply some of the funniest lines ever!!!
As she excels at the required courses to run an efficient travel agency, Toula, with the help of her encouraging mother, convinces her aunt that she should go and work for her... They sit to tell the father... or was it the father's idea that she should go to work at the travel agency?
The day Ian Miller, played by John Corbett, happens to walk by her place of employment provides some of the funniest clips of this film, which keeps you laughing from beginning to end!
The couple begin an endearing romance, one that we thoroughly enjoy as it develops into a beautiful love affair. But... beware! The family finds out and the father is livid at this WASP [White Anglo Saxon Protestant] moving into Greek territory, something unheard of in the tradition of this lovely Greek family.
As the families start to get to know one another, some of the scenes are so funny that we laugh to our hearts content. Being Cuban American, many of the scenes remind us of our own struggle to bring different cultures together as we have weaved the fabric of our families with many other cultural threads.
During the film we admire the way Toula transforms from a quiet, introverted and shy person into a rather sophisticated young woman. The wedding entrance has one of the most memorable scenes as the Greeks overwhelm the bride side of the guests... doing what is culturally correct to bring good luck to the bride... causing revulsion and shock to the American side of this couple.
Simply... don't miss seeing this film... By now we have seen it 6 or 7 times and we find ourselves enchanted and constantly laughing. Indeed a rare treasure and a MOST own DVD!!!
- Reminds me of my family!
The first time I watched this movie, I remember thinking "They remind me of MY family!". Whether you're Greek or not, you'll be sure to love this movie.
So what's this movie about? This movie revolves around the life of Toula, a Greek who is sick of his father's Greek stories and having to work in her family's Greek restaurant. When Ian makes a stop at her restaurant, Toula begins to fall for him although he doesn't quite notice her. After going back to school and getting a better job (and a much needed makeover), Ian and Toula meet again and this time, the feeling is mutual. The two fall in love and become engaged. The problem? Ian is not Greek. The rest of the movie has Toula's family trying to understand Ian and his lifestyle and ultimately making it to the couple's wedding.
So what's to like about this movie? As I said above, Toula's family reminds me so much of my family. Some of the Greek stereotypes pertain to my Portuguese family as well which makes this movie that much sweeter. Second, it's incredibly funny. From Toula's father's use of Windex to fix everything, to the entire male part of the family being named Nick, you'll be sure to find a lot of humor in this movie. Third, the storyline is sort of different. Obviously there are movies out there about engaged couples that just don't get along with their parents-in-law but this movie shows an entire family that just doesn't understand Ian.
And what's not to like? Not much. Although it's rated PG, I wouldn't let younger kids watch this movie. Besides that very minor thing, this movie is great!
When it comes to movies that you MUST watch, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of them....more info
- Romantically funny!
Toula is a Greek lady, from a respected Greek family in America. Her father is a proud Greek man who believes that Windex protects skin from warts and that all Greeks must persuade non-greeks to become greeks. But Toula is an ugly, plain girl from a rather sad background. She is intelligent but never got married, therefore she works in the family restaurant. So Toula is the ugly, intelligent, geeky girl nextdoor. But when Toula meets handsome and hunky man Ian, one day while serving in her restaurant, wierd things happen.
After persuading her parents to let her take classes on computer, Toula takes a job in her aunt's travel agency. She changes her looks for the better, by using makke up and perms, and looks like a beautiful, intelligent greek lady working in her travel agency. Then one day Ian comes along.............
Taking an attraction to the new and refreshed Toula, Ian and Toula take on a romance that her cousin and father plan to twarth due to Ian being a non-greek!
My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding was a funny, romantic comedy that everyone will enjoy. ...more info
- Jackie W.
This is really one great movie! I've seen it before but enjoy watching it again every year or so. John Corbett is so "dreamy"! The TV sit-com would have been a big hit if Corbett was in the cast. All the family antics makes this movie a success. Everyone must see this movie at least once....more info
- it has a few problems to it..
I cannot fathom why Nia Vardalos insisted on playing Toula, her acting is mediocre at best and actually diminishes the believability of the story.
There are also a number of exaggerations in the whole "crazy greek family" setup, eeeeeveryone in her family is so crazy and tacky, and only SHE, brought up by same people mind you, is a model of style and taste.
She is embarassed by her family yet has no balls to live a life on her own, without them.. what the hell?!
First time you watch this movie, it's funny, as all the exaggerations actually surprise you and make you laugh, but on second viewing it starts sucking.. Too bad....more info
- What do people see in this?
This is just boring. I didn't laugh once in the whole movie, maybe smiled a feel times but that's it!
The script is average and the acting slow, emotionless and totally uncompelling. The plot was a good idea, just a shame that the movie turned out to be a total waste of time. What people see in this I really do not know....more info
- What's a Zorba?
This movie was cute, no doubt about that. It's been done before with Moonstruck, and they did it better. But, this was a good time despite their weaker points.
We're rooting for the underdog in this movie, in this case Toula, a frumpy, somewhat nerdy Greek woman who is 30 years old and still living at home with her family. She is unhappy with the stagnation around her. She has a big, loud family of eccentric characters and everyone's Greek. She is also at age 30 considered to be an old maid, which she is about to break down and accept with much resignation. Then, one day, Chris the DJ from Northern Exposure walks in (probably one of the most gorgeous things ever created by the gods if there ever was one) and she decides to make herself more attractive to catch his attention. Besides dressing up and caring more for her appearence, she decides to go for an education as well. Her credentials land her in a better job than waitressing, and there is where Chris the DJ reenters the picture, and their love begins. This is a non-Greek, which her father will be outraged about as it has been his dream that she would marry another virial Greek testosterone machine and make Greek babies. Soon the situation comes together, Dad accepts the plain white bread man, and the two live happily ever after.
It was a cute story, no doubt about that, but it was a little too cute. Here they are playing up on the typical Cinderella story - the dowdy frump girl who wishes for her prince, overcoming family evils, and achieving her happiness. They are also bringing in the big obnoxious ethnic aspects of her loud, eccentric family, which has been done before. Probably Aunt Voola was the funniest of them all, as she was the absolute oddest, and Grandma was pretty funny all dressed in black running away from the Turks. But, that's where the eccentric character study ended and the rest was just an amusing sitcom type situation. There were some funny moments, no question, but it was just ok.
Enjoy it for some lite entertainment, because that's all it is. It's somewhat of a chick flick, but it had a little more substance....more info