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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2002
Description: A young Greek girl falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to receive her family to agree him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity.
Released: 02 Aug 2002 Director: Joel Zwick Writers: Nia Vardalos Actors: Nia Vardalos, Michael Constantine, Christina Eleusiniotis, Kaylee Vieira Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Reviews:

This movie is a celebration of life steeped in tradition, family, love and just the joy of living; and it invites you to come in and participate in that celebration, rather than leaving you on the outside looking in, as it were, merely as an observer. A movie that seemingly welcomes and passionately embraces all that is nice and worthwhile in the world, `My Large Fat Greek Wedding,' directed by Joel Zwick, will create you laugh and create you cry, but most importantly, it will create you `feel.' It's one of those rare cinematic experiences that afterwards makes the sky seem bluer, your step a bit lighter and a smile easier to come by; and when a movie can do all of that, you know you've come across a bona fide treasure that you're going to hang onto for a long, long time in your memory. Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) is thirty years old, lives with her parents in Chicago and works in the family restaurant, `Dancing Zorbas.' Each facet of her life is imbued with all things `Greek,' and by proclamation long since issued by her father, Gus (Michael Constantine), Toula is bound by all that is `holy' (read: `Greek') to marry a Greek, live a Greek life and bear many Greek children. For her to even think of doing otherwise would be unfathomable, unthinkable, unimaginable and, well...'UN-Greek.' So it becomes something of a conundrum for Toula when she meets and becomes interested in a boy called Ian Miller (John Corbett), a guy who is decidedly NOT Greek in any way, shape or form. But he asks her out, and one thing leads to other and then another, but before Toula will let things to receive seriously out of hand, meaning `serious,' she knows she gotta run up the flag, take a deep breath and say her father. And for Toula, it just may be the hardest thing she's ever had to do in her life. Ian, meanwhile, is about to experience culture shock, as he is about to be confronted by a family that includes, for example, twenty-seven first cousins, something Ian isn't quite used to; after all, he has `two' of his own, and they live in other state. The screenplay was written by star Nia Vardalos, adapted from her own one-woman show, and it fell into capable hands when she turned it over to director Joel Zwick, who picks up the rhythms and the `sense' of the storyline without missing a beat. Falling into step with his star, Zwick crafts and delivers a movie that is fully immersed in the zest and zeal of living. Under his astute tutelage, the viewer becomes a part of Toula's life, sharing that grand heritage of which Gus is so proud. He brings the storyline and the characters to life with feature and nuance, and in such a method that your senses will kick into full throttle. The photos he creates are so vivid, and it's such an engaging presentation, that the vitality he generates is almost tangible, and you can smell the lamb and all of those Greek delicacies cooking in the kitchen. And Zwick sets it all in motion by establishing a pace that will sweep you along with the story; a carousel ride that will hold you involved and smiling all the method to the end.Nia Vardalos certainly captures the essence of all that is `Greek' with her story, and with her affecting performance as Toula. This is a young girl you receive attached to very quickly; there's something of Benny, from `Circle of Friends' about her, as well as Muriel, from `Muriel's Wedding.' It's a hero your heart goes out to immediately, one to whom you want all nice things will come. There is an introspection to her portrayal that contrasts effectively with her vigorously outgoing environment, and it makes her presence all the more dominating and singular. And it's now in the reserve Vardalos exhibits in her hero that the viewer finds the method inside to Toula's deepest longings and emotions. Without question, this is a complex individual, in whom we search not only the strength important to maintain autonomy (which she manages to do within the greater structure of her family), but vulnerability born of the respect she demonstrates toward her father, her family and the traditions they so lovingly serve. It is this very complexity, in fact, that elicits the important empathy of the audience, enabling that vital connection between the viewer and Toula. And Nia Vardalos IS Toula, from the ground up and from the inside out. Moreover, one would be difficult place to discern any distinction whatsoever between the actor and her character, as her performance is entirely natural and genuine. As Toula's mother, Maria, Lainie Kazan is a delight. The hero she creates is fully credible, and she's just a joy to watch. And the same can be told of Andrea Martin's performance as Aunt Voula. This is a VERY Greek girl who is boisterous, overtly self-assured, opinionated and dominant; and she will victory you over in an instant. It is Maria and Voula that add some true spice to the film, and when you add in Gia Carides (who plays Nikki) to the mix, you've got a Greek feast fit for the gods. Of all the actors in this unbelievable cast, however, the one who absolutely steals `My Large Fat Greek Wedding,' is Michael Constantine, who has the role of his career in Gus, and without question, makes the most of it. From his overabundance of Greek pride to his many and varied private peccadilloes (like his ever-present bottle of Windex, which he is convinced can cure everything from a minor scrape to the common cold), he simply gives the performance of a lifetime; and if there is any justice in the entire `Greek' world, Constantine-- and this film-- will be duly remembered at Oscar time. It's the magic of the movies. 10/10.


My Fiancé is Greek and I am not. This transport hit the nail on the head! The entire time I was watching this film I was thinking this is my life Oh my God this is my life. I think folks who gave this transport terrible reviews just didn't receive it, because, they are not around or live inside the globe of a Greek family. There are so many similarities to my Fiancés family it's almost creepy. For a crasher course to our wedding I said my entire family to watch this film before they came. After the wedding was all told and done I had so many folks from my side of the family came up to me and say me your RIGHT! It was just like my Large Fat Greek Wedding!!! Especially since we had almost 700 folks at our wedding and all we did all night long is dance in circles!!! It was a lot of fun!This was the greatest film in a long time and no one knows how real this film really is until they live through it.Sincerely, AJH


An extremely nice tiny movie that shows that smart ideas, nice writing, solid direction, likeable characters and an engrossing storyline will everytime victory out in the end. Nia Vardalos stars as a Greek girl who just seems a bit out-of-place in her not everytime normal life. She is shy, reserved and ashamed of her heritage. Some makeup, a several college classes, ellegant clothes and a travel agency job away from her father's restaurant are just the tickets to support her come out of her shell. Later high school teacher John Corbett is entranced by her and they begin a sweet love affair. Naturally she keeps the secret from her parents (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) and the sparks fly when they eventually search out. They wish their daughter to marry a Greek boy and have lots of children, but Vardalos has another plans for her life. Corbett's love knows no bounds though as he makes it clear that she is the one he really wants. "My Large Fat Greek Wedding" happened due to nice timing and lots of luck. Vardalos was struggling when Tom Hanks' wife (Rita Wilson) went to see the tiny enjoy that the movie is based upon. Wilson happened to see an advert for the present in the newspaper one day (the only day Vardalos should afford to run an ad) and the rest as they tell is history. The movie cost very tiny to create and usually second-rate director Joel Zwick ended up running the show. Vardalos' screenplay (Oscar-nominated) was the catalyst that place the movie on the map and kept it there permanently. Most all the extras are true family members of Vardalos and Ian Gomez (who plays Corbett's greatest friend) is now her husband in true life. Easy one of the most successful movies of all time financially speaking (based upon the bargain basement cost and the astronomical showing at the box office), "My Large Fat Greek Wedding" is a wholesome movie that the entire family can enjoy. It is other one of those rare movies that feel like it was made during Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1940s. Not quite excellent, but dangerously close. 4.5 out of 5 stars.



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