My Big Fat Greek Wedding
3Ω out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
love is here to stay, so is her family There's something wonderful about chaotic ethnic comedies, and this film taps straight into that vein.

Toula (Vardalos) is a 30-year-old woman still living with her massively Greek parents (Kazan and Constantine) in suburban Chicago. She has always felt like a frumpy outsider, embarrassed by her family's excessive ethnic pride. Then she decides to take a college course in computers and escape from her dad's restaurant ... straight to her zany aunt's (Martin) travel agency. And her world opens up further when she falls for Ian (Corbett). Who, as everyone points out, is not remotely Greek.

This isn't a slick Hollywood movie at all, which is probably why it's so endearing. The noisy Portokalos family is a bundle of quirks, deeply irritating and yet thoroughly loveable. And each actor creates a vivid, hilarious character that rings true no matter what kind of family you come from (Martin is the scene stealer). Meanwhile, Vardalos and Corbett just get on with a genuinely charming rom-com that's sweet without ever being sentimental, always undercut with self-deprecating cynicism.

Vardalos' script is packed with comedy gems and astute observation, as well as lots of smart running gags. And visually the film is a treasure trove of kitch design. The contrast between Ian's conservative parents (Reid and Gray) and the outlandish sprawl of Toula's Greek clan is conveyed with humour, warmth and insight without resorting to the usual cliches.

cert PG themes, language 17.Jul.02

dir Joel Zwick
scr Nia Vardalos
with Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Louis Mandylor, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Fiona Reid, Bruce Gray, Stavroula Logothettis, Ian Gomez
release US 19.Apr.02; UK 20.Sep.02
02/US 1h34

Star-crossed lovers. Ian and Toula (Corbett and Vardalos) find romance despite their vastly different backgrounds...

See also:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... "What a wonderful movie! I haven't laughed so much in a theater in ages! It could have just as easily been My Big Fat Jewish Wedding or My Big Fat Italian Wedding. The plot and the characters were big, ethnic, noisy and hilarious! The movie was sweet, funny and put a smile on my face for days afterwards! I can't wait to see it again!" --Rosie James, New York City 24.Jul.02 love is here to stay, so is her family

"This is one of those sleeper movies. All I can say is go see it - bring tissues and be ready to laugh and cry. I just totally loved/enjoyed being in the theatre and watching this movie, and highly recommend it to everyone. It will make you appreciate your family more." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 14.Sep.02

"I found this film cute! But I felt it was very weak and had a standard, not particularly well-explored storyline. Sure it had some good scenes, but doesn't every film? Did not find it anything special!" --Annabell, net 29.Sep.02

© 2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall