on 5 February 2003
This film got great ratings for a film that suprisingly didn't cost that much. How they they kept the costs that low is hard to believe when you see the amount of food on the sets. I took my Greek Cypriot Mother to the Pictures to see this film (The last time she went was 1970), and she found it absolutely hilarious as did I and my sister. The Greek Father in the film is absolute class, he had me in stitches for the whole film. A definate must see although you will find that people with a Mediteranean background of friends from that part of the world will find it funnier as they will definately know people in their every day lives that will resemble some of the characters. Great film, well worth watching. The type of film that you could watch again and again.
on 11 February 2003
One of the most hilarious films ever, which everyone can relate to whether you are from a very traditional background or not. The comical stereotypical Greek characters have you crying with laughter, and what makes them even more funny is that they are true - you probably know a Greek person just like them! From a young Greek-Cypriot, although being born and brought up in the UK, I can safely say this is like watching a fly-on the wall documentry on some of my family; Greeks everywhere should refer to this as My Big Fat Greek Life!
Watch the film and release the Greek in you.... don't forget the Ouzo!
on 13 January 2003
I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the cinema sitting next to this big group of Greek women, which definitely added to the experience. They were falling on the floor laughing. It was hysterical. I loved the movie. It was a very accurate portrayal of my Greek friends and their families, and I've always had a bit of a thing for John Corbett. On the whole the movie is a tongue in cheek look at growing up Greek. Even if you aren't, it's a great film to watch with the girls, and perhaps a tub of icecream.
on 17 March 2003
I went to see this film in Sweden (not exactly the home of the belly laugh), and the effect it had on the audience was amazing. People doubled over with laughter and tears rolling down peoples' faces
The cast, and the observation of Greek family life, is great and truly over the top! The father, who believes that Greece is the fount of all knowledge and civilisation, the mother who persuades the father and convinces him that her ideas are his, the undervalued son who struggles with his own destiny as an artist, and Nia Vardelos as the daughter who creates her own future. The house (watch the film you'll know what I mean).
Great scenes, great moments, great script, great film. Nia is priceless.
If you've ever been to Greece, you'll recognise these people.
on 10 August 2007
A delightful romantic comedy based on culture clashes. Toula's huge sprawling noisy Greek family are initially aghast that she has fallen for a "xeno", the ultra-Anglo Ian. Ian's family are probably just as aghast but are too uptight to get emotional. Will their relationship overcome the obstacles so that they can get maried and live happily ever after? Of course it will. But there are lots of laughs on the way, and not just at Greek family life and culture. Fun is poked in many directions and never maliciously.
I watched this film with a group of friends from a Middle Eastern country far from Greece, some of whom were almost hysterical with laughter at the way they were spotting their own relatives, and their own attitudes, in Toula's Greek kin. Culture transcends nationality. This isn't just a movie about Greeks and WASPs in Chicago, it's about human beings. And it's very enjoyable.
on 12 December 2003
I first saw this movie at the cinema and it really does make you feel so much better. Every scene brings either tears from laughing or tears of joy in the well written and acted romantic moments.
This movie really is worth buying... NOW!!!
on 16 December 2005
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 (bakonyvilla)
on 25 May 2015
A real feel good film, this is an absolute gem guaranteed to make you laugh and cry. Perfect ugly ducking turning in to a swan retelling for the here and now - it's all about the power of loving and of being loved. The story is gentle and funny, with plenty of great comedy moments and a strong underlying theme running through it about the importance of family and acceptance. 5***** and definitely one for my movie top ten!
on 7 March 2003
There is a lot to like about MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, a well-made romantic comedy that presents the story of Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos), a young Chicago woman of Greek ethnicity who must overcome family opposition when she decides to marry an upscale yuppie WASP. The cast is expert; there are quite a few belly-laughs and chuckles aplenty; and the script is witty and plays with stereotypes without ever descending to mean-spiritedness. But perhaps the single most likeable thing about GREEK WEDDING is the fact that the romantic leads look like real people instead of the Ken and Barbie actors so typically found in this sort of romantic comedy. That is indeed a real joy, and I suspect it is at the heart of what has drawn so many to the film.
I do indeed indeed recommend MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. But I also offer a slight caution: unless you are a die-hard romantic comedy fan, you might do better to rent the film before you actually go to the expense of purchasing it. It is expertly done; it is charming; and I certainly look forward to seeing more from Nia Vardalos in the future. But all that said, I found GREEK WEDDING extremely slight, and do not think I will revisit it in the future. I found it enjoyable for an evening, but nothing more. The DVD package, by the way, is as slight as the film. There is extremely little in the way of bonus material, and if your decision re VHS vs. DVD rests on bonus material I would suggest you purchase the VHS; you will miss nothing in terms of extras.
on 17 August 2003
Trapped in a mundane life and still controlled by her parents, - a domineering mother (Lainie Kazan) and a father who believes every word in the English language has its roots in Greek (Michael Constantine) - thirty year old Toula Portokolos (Nia Vardalos) is looking for a way out. Though her father would like her to settle down, marry a Greek man, and cook for a thousand relatives for the rest of her life, Toula wants something different. After embarking on a computer course at her local community college, Toula swaps the confines of her parents’ restaurant, “Dancing Zorba’s” for the slightly less confined space of her aunt’s travel agency. Whilst working there she sets eyes on Ian Miller, (John Corbett) a high school teacher who, whilst being the perfect match for Toula, isn’t exactly the perfect match for her family. For one thing, he’s not Greek. For another, he’s a vegetarian.
After Toula and Ian announce their plans to wed, much hilarity ensues - the majority of which is inevitably centred on the culture clash between Ian’s country club parents and Toula’s legions of Greek relatives - and a sympathetic viewer will wonder just how much more Ian can put himself through, especially by the time he’s baptised in order to be able to take full part in a Greek Orthodox wedding.
This film isn’t anything that you won’t have seen before. Families have been embarrassing their cinematic offspring for years. But it’s all done with an exceptional amount of charm and humour. It’s wonderfully acted all around (even Nsync’s Joey Fatone comes out of it unscathed) and lead actress Nia Vardalos (who also adapted her one woman stage show to provide the film’s screenplay) shows a self-deprecating humour that’s missing from the majority of today’s young starlets. Certain moments will have you in hysterics and if you’re not laughing then your face will at least be fixed in a permanent grin that will still be there a good long while after you’ve taken the video out of the VCR.