Movie Review by Dr Kuma
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Gia Carides
Director: Joel Zwick
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING has been a major hit in the States, second only in the independent money making stakes to the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. I may be mistaken on this as I thought I’d heard this on good authority. The only reason I question this is that the same person said that this movie was “a gas” and it was one of the best comedies around for years. The words ‘big fat liar’ come to mind as, disappointingly, we’ve seen this all before. Don’t get me wrong. MBFGW is not a bad movie, far from it, it has some genuinely excellent scenes and the cast is first rate (especially the father) but it’s no WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or even MONSOON WEDDING. In its own right it’s fine and will have a large female bias following, it just wasn’t what I was led to believe.
The story revolves around Toula Portokalos, who is 30, Greek and works in her family’s restaurant, Dancing Zorba’s, in Chicago. All her father, Gus (very American, but evolves from a Greek word….), wants is for her to get married to a nice Greek boy. Toula is looking for more in life and wants to be more independent. The only person that supports her in this is her brother. Her mother, in favour of this, convinces her father to let her take some computer classes at college (playing the game of making him think it’s his idea). With those classes under her belt, she then takes over her aunt’s travel agency (again making her father think it’s his idea). She meets Ian Miller, a high school English teacher, who remembers her from her days at her father’s restaurant. They date secretly for a while before her family finds out. Her father is livid over her dating a non-Greek. He has to learn to accept Ian, Ian has to learn to accept Toula’s huge family, and Toula has to learn to accept herself. While they both accept that they are in love, they have to accept there may be a clash of cultures…
All in all this is a pleasant little movie, with touches of finesse, but, like ROAD TO PERDITION, it suffered because of the hype around it. Had I expected less I would have been happier, as less than I thought was indeed what I got. However, if this sort of thing appeals to you and you want a good night out – just don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype.
Dr Kuma’s verdict: Very Greek, but a little weak.