Archive for February 14, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The movie is centered on Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos, a middle class Greek-American woman (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the script), who falls in love with a non-Greek upper middle class WASP fellow, Ian Miller (played by John Corbett).

Toula is going through an early midlife crisis. At thirty, she is the only woman in her family who has “failed”: her family expects her to “marry a Greek, have Greek babies and feed everyone until the day [she] die[s].” Instead, Toula is stuck working in the family business, a restaurant. In contrast to her “perfect” sister, Athena (Stavroula Logothetis), Toula is frumpy and cynical. She fears she’s doomed to be stuck with her life as it is.

At the restaurant, she encounters Ian Miller, a school teacher, an event which changes her outlook. She goes to school to learn computers, and eventually goes to work at her aunt’s travel agency. She also begins to care more about her appearance.

Toula feels much better in her new job, especially when she notices Ian hanging around looking at her through the window. They finally introduce themselves and begin dating. Toula keeps the relationship secret from her family until some weeks later when Gus (her father) finds out. Gus throws a fit because Ian is not Greek. Ian asks permission to continue seeing Toula. Gus refuses, but Toula and Ian continue to see each other.

Ian proposes, Toula accepts, and Gus is ultimately forced to accept their relationship. Ian readily agrees to convert to the Greek Orthodox faith in order to be worthy of Toula, and is baptized in traditional fashion. At the family’s Easter festival, Ian confesses he is a vegetarian — a brief crisis for the entire family ensues — and he has a lot of trouble pronouncing Greek words.

As the year passes, the wedding planning hits snag after snag as Toula’s relatives “helpfully” interfere; her father insists on inviting the entire church to the ceremony, her mother orders the invitations but misspells Ian’s parents’ names, and Toula’s cousin Nikki orders tacky bridesmaids’ dresses. Toula is horrified to learn that her parents invited the entire family to what was meant to be a “quiet” dinner, and the Millers, unused to such cultural fervor, are overwhelmed.

The wedding day dawns with liveliness and hysteria, but the traditional wedding itself goes without a hitch. Everyone goes to the reception, and the Millers, fortified with many glasses of ouzo, begin to enjoy the Greek partying lifestyle. Gus gives a speech accepting Ian and the Millers as family.

Gus and Maria buy a gift for the young couple: a house right next door to them. The film’s epilogue shows the Millers’ life a few years later in which they have a daughter that they raise in the Greek style.

REVIEW:

Well, its Valentine’s Day, a holiday made more for women than those of us of the male species, so I figure I better do a chick flick today. Enter My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

This was one of those surprise hit films. no one expected it be the big hit it ended up being. Unfortunately, they tried to overcapitalize on it by spinning off a TV series and it just didn’t work. Surprisingly, they haven’t tried to make a sequel…yet. Hmm…the surprise hits in the past decade or so have all featured “unconventional” female leads. That is, women that aren’t exactly who you would think as hot, yet they show to be infinitely more talented than the “pretty girls”. I’m just saying…maybe Hollywood should think about that before they go out of their way to cast someone just for their looks and not talent.

Back to the film…the good…this is such a cute little movie, that it almost personifies the term “chick flick”. Getting actual Greek actors, or at least Greek descendants, to make up most of this cast was brilliant, and make it more authentic, if you ask me. The whole wedding thing where the family takes over provides us with some of the films funniest moments, second only to the father’s obsession with curing everything with Windex. The family’s relationship with each other is very touching, and if you didn’t know these were actors, you’d think they were actually related. One of the scenes I really loved was when Toula is at college and gets to sit with the “popular” girls and eats a sandwich on white bread, rather the mousakka she had to eat when she was little.

The bad…I may be missing something, but I don’t know why this is titled My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I say that because there really is no mention of fat anywhere in the film, except for the mother saying some kind of pantyhose making her look fat. Toula was chided more for being frumpy and old looking. Maybe they should have put something like in the title. John Corbett did a great job as the “xeno”, but I think they could have found someone who didn’t look like he was already part of the family. If I’m not mistaken, Corbett is Greek, anyway. Someone a bit more, “white bread” would have worked better. Again, that’s nothing against Corbett, just they way he looked in comparison to the rest of the cast.

This is a pretty good film. It doesn’t get too sappy, or anything like that. There are many funny parts and no weird, sudden crisis moments that change the entire tone of the film. Women seem to love this picture, where guys are torn (as we are with almost every wedding picture). That little tidbit aside, this is a pretty good picture that anyone can enjoy. For sure it is a perfect date flick.

4 out of 5 stars

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