My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) Poster

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10/10
You're Invited to Join in the Celebration!
jhclues4 September 2002
This film 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 film that seemingly welcomes and passionately embraces all that is good and worthwhile in the world, `My Big Fat Greek Wedding,' directed by Joel Zwick, will make you laugh and make you cry, but most importantly, it will make 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 film 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.' Every 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 man named 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 another and then another, but before Toula will allow things to get seriously out of hand, meaning `serious,' she knows she must run up the flag, take a deep breath and tell 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 another 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 story without missing a beat. Falling into step with his star, Zwick crafts and delivers a film that is totally 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 story and the characters to life with detail and nuance, and in such a way that your senses will kick into full throttle. The images 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 keep you involved and smiling all the way 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 woman you get 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 character your heart goes out to immediately, one to whom you wish all good 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 actually in the reserve Vardalos exhibits in her character that the viewer finds the way inside to Toula's deepest longings and emotions. Without question, this is a complex individual, in whom we find not only the strength necessary 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 necessary 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 hard put 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 character she creates is totally credible, and she's just a joy to watch. And the same can be said of Andrea Martin's performance as Aunt Voula. This is a VERY Greek woman who is boisterous, overtly self-assured, opinionated and dominant; and she will win you over in an instant. It is Maria and Voula that add some real 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 wonderful cast, however, the one who absolutely steals `My Big 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 personal 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 whole `Greek' world, Constantine-- and this film-- will be duly remembered at Oscar time. It's the magic of the movies. 10/10.
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It's my life!!!! Hilarious, but so true!!!!!
ajh1313023 July 2004
My Fiancé is Greek and I am not. This move hit the nail on the head! The whole time I was watching this movie I was thinking this is my life Oh my God this is my life. I think people who gave this move bad reviews just didn't get it, because, they are not around or live inside the world 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 told my whole family to watch this movie before they came. After the wedding was all said and done I had so many people from my side of the family came up to me and tell me your RIGHT! It was just like my Big Fat Greek Wedding!!! Especially since we had almost 700 people at our wedding and all we did all night long is dance in circles!!! It was a lot of fun!

This was the best movie in a long time and no one knows how true this movie really is until they live through it.

Sincerely, AJH
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Big Fat Success.
tfrizzell25 March 2003
An extremely good little film that shows that smart ideas, good writing, solid direction, likeable characters and an engrossing story will always win out in the end. Nia Vardalos stars as a Greek woman who just seems a bit out-of-place in her not always normal life. She is shy, reserved and ashamed of her heritage. Some makeup, a few college classes, stylish clothes and a travel agency job away from her father's restaurant are just the tickets to help her come out of her shell. Soon high school teacher John Corbett is entranced by her and they start a sweet love affair. Naturally she keeps the secret from her parents (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) and the sparks fly when they eventually find out. They want their daughter to marry a Greek man and have lots of children, but Vardalos has other 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 Big Fat Greek Wedding" happened due to good timing and lots of luck. Vardalos was struggling when Tom Hanks' wife (Rita Wilson) went to see the small play that the film is based upon. Wilson happened to see an advertisement for the show in the newspaper one day (the only day Vardalos could afford to run an ad) and the rest as they say is history. The film cost very little to make and usually second-rate director Joel Zwick ended up running the show. Vardalos' screenplay (Oscar-nominated) was the catalyst that put the film on the map and kept it there permanently. Most all the extras are real family members of Vardalos and Ian Gomez (who plays Corbett's best friend) is actually her husband in real life. Easily one of the most successful films of all time financially speaking (based upon the bargain basement cost and the astronomical showing at the box office), "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a wholesome film that the whole family can enjoy. It is another one of those rare films 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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8/10
A simple story about a girl in love.
Pepper Anne11 April 2004
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a very simple, funny romance story that would probably be most appreciated by female audiences.

Nia Vardalos (the film's writer and star) is Toula Portokalos, a quiet young woman from a zany Greek family. As she explains in the great flashback introduction, all her life she has been brought up to be strictly Greek. But, the same upbringing also contains some traditional absuridites that she can't understand, although her parent's wish that she would adhere to. Toula's upbringing has only allowed her to look forward to one thing at this point in her life: get married to a nice Greek boy and have lots of babies.

This is not something Toula wants to here, and eventually, she gains the courage to break out of her introverted shield and gradually change herself into a bold, lovely woman. She stops working at her family's resturaunts and starts taking computer classes at the local college, which lead her not only to a better appreciation for herself, but leads to a job at her aunt's travel agency where she meets Ian Miller (Jon Corbet), and that is where our story begins.

Toula and Ian are in love, really very much so. But, this troubles Toula's mother and father, with her father (Michael Constantine) being more strict in traditional Greek upbringing than her mother (Lanie Kazan), when Ian proposes to Toula. For Toula's father, it is bad enough that she quit the family business to go to school and everything. But it is simply out of the question for him that she marry a non-Greek. So, Toula is torn between the two. This is a movie very much in the spirit of films like Bend it Like Beckham and somewhat like the Joy Luck Club in addressing roles of tradition in future generations of immigrants and the possibility and reason for preservation of such traditions.

Of course the film is a very simple movie, a simple love story, but a funny one nonetheless. We see the contrast between Toula's Greek upbringing, and Ian's very quiet, conservative family. Everyone was fantastic in this film, especially Lainie Kazan as Toula's mom, Michael Constantine as her father, and the wonderfully hilarious Andrea Martin as Toula's Aunt Voula.

I don't know the reason for so many negative reviews for this movie. I would say it was probably the best movie I saw in 2002, and one that I have seen many times since just because it a lovely little (and funny) story about a girl in love.
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10/10
A Greek "All in the Family" Great fun!
STRANDMAN10 June 2002
If you're of Greek descent like me, then you'll appreciate and relate to the very funny (but exaggerated) tendencies and idiosyncrasies of the Greek Portokalos family. Nia Vardalos plays the bride-to-be. John Corbett the groom-to-be. She's Greek, he's not. That's where the fun begins as Michael Constantine her father is not happy her daughter is marrying a "stranger"(a non-Greek). Constantine shines as he portrays a very protective, caring, loving father. The movie was superbly cast. The movie is of light fare, great for the entire family. Can't help to think that this would have made a great TV series. Sort of a Greek "All in the family". I understand a sequel is already planned titled "My Big Fat Greek Baby". If you're Greek, go and laugh at my family, your family, our family. If you're not, go and just laugh at us. Great fun!
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A movie much better than anticipated
Aaron Sticht9 August 2005
I have seen many movies in the past year, some have been wonderful and some have been downright terrible. My Big Fat Greek Wedding has to be one of the best written and best acted comedies I think I have seen in a long time. While the concept of making a movie about weddings is not unique, I believe that those of us who either have gone through planning a wedding or have experiences with family having too much influence in our lives will relate to this movie better than other wedding movies.

This movie is about an ordinary rather plain looking thirty something unmarried woman who comes from a large extended Greek family. All Greek women are expected to go to Greek school, find a good Greek man, marry him and have lots of Greek babies according to the narrator who is also the main character in the movie. This simple premise is what sets us off in almost two hours of raucous humor centered around planning a wedding where a couple coming from completely different backgrounds has to deal with all the external pressures that happen when two people decide to go down the aisle together.

This movie has several very heartwarming and somewhat emotional scenes in it so don't expect it is just a funny movie. Acting in this movie on all characters was very well done and very believable. I thought however that the roles of the Grooms Mother and Father were rather flat and two dimensional. This movie reminded me quite a bit of Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin, except in this case, the writers for Monty Python obtained the script for final treatment. While the writers for Monty Python did not actually write this movie but was instead written by the leading lady, there were some moments where it appeared that the humor was drawn right out of a book of British comedy. All in all I felt that the whole movie had a British feel to it.

This movie will delight you and leave you with a smile on your face. While the audience in the theater was more of an adult composition, I do not remember any nudity or adult language in the entire picture which means this movie is one that the whole family can see together. I would wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone who would like a good laugh.
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5/10
A film of two halves
Rachmaninoff2825 October 2013
Up until around the 50 minute mark, this is a fun and engaging film. I cared about the characters until then and cared about how the conflict surrounding their relationship and wedding was going to be resolved. But once it was resolved, there was nothing left to engage the viewer. Not only that, somehow the main characters then drifted off into the background and were lost behind the fairly boring, clichéd and uninspired depiction of the "Greek wedding" itself.

In the end, this is a flawed film. Every story needs a conflict. Resolving the conflict too early eliminates the need to continue the story. The Greeks knew this.
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8/10
I need Windex in my Moussaka!!!!
jotix10011 July 2002
This was a very pleasant surprise. Frankly, I was avoiding it because I thought it was going to be too tacky for my taste. It turned out that I needed some of the Windex, the father of the bride uses for everything, to clear my eyes and enjoy the film.

Nia Vardalos has written from the heart this story of a crazy Greek family with all the stereotypes in it for us to savor and enjoy what has come out under the firm direction of Joel Zwick.

Not only is Ms. Vardalos talented as an actress, but she can write quite a story, star in her own tale, and bring together this cast of loonies and make us believe we are inside these folks' home.

Michael Constantine and Lanie Kazan are the parents of the bride and they preside this crazy household in Chicago. Nia Vardalos is the "ugly duckling" we see at the beginning of the film and she wins John Corbett's heart and disarms him completely. He got her family in the bargain and he's stuck in it for better of for worse. Andrea Martin is very effective as the pushy aunt.

All in all, it should be seen for the fun of it. This is a funny film, very well paced and acted.

Please pass the Windex!!
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8/10
A big fat Greek film
rbverhoef4 May 2003
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' is a lovely film. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is not an extremely good film but it just doesn't go wrong anywhere. The story is simple. Toula, played by Nia Vardalos, is 30 years old and still single. Her family is Greek so she must marry a Greek. Unfortunately for her family she falls in love with Ian Miller (John Corbett), definitely not a Greek. He falls in love with her too and so the only thing in the way is family.

The people in the movie are all nice people in their own way. Although Toula doesn't like her family is Greek in every single way, and is too proud of it, she does love her family.

'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' is a very enjoyable film, with a lot of funny moments. You know everything will turn out good so it will make you feel better as well.
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6/10
Nice comedy
Henry Fields28 March 2005
*Nice romantic-comedy about a Greek-American girl which has to fight against her family's strict traditions in order to marry a non-Greek boy. I think that, for the Greek people, this movie must be full of topics and stereotypes, but for the ones who don't know about Greek ways of life is pretty funny. There are all kind of weird characters (the grandma!!!), and the starring actress makes an outstanding job showing us the metamorphosis of that timid girl to a liberated one. Nice dialogs, nice rhythm... Just a nice entertainment for a Saturday afternoon.

*My Rate 6/10
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9/10
Such a nice and entertaining movie
kurdishcinema3 September 2006
This is a such a nice and entertaining movie. As in David & Layla directed by Jalal Jonroy, My big fat Greek Wedding too celebrates the love and cultural differences. Love, humanism, comedy, romance all are in that great film. My Big Fat Greek Weddeing brings people from different background closer and shows how important to accept the 'other' as other in order to be just happy! Being a migrant poses different problems and the individuals some times have to defy their original traditions and cultures to be able to love or be happy. In particular Greeks are very keen on and proud of their traditions and cultures (rightfully). I like the films which provide some insight and understanding of different cultures, or of individuals inner world. In this term My Big Fat Greeek Wedding does the job. That is why it is a very captivating film along with being funny enough to make you laugh even after you left the movie theater. I also recommend Mansoon Wedding, Bend It Like Beckham and David & Layla for the movie lovers.

devrim kilic editor of www.kurdishcinema.org
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8/10
I was shocked to realize I loved this movie!! (possible spoiler)
thisizaustin26 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I resisted seeing it because it didn't seem to be something I would watch, but I was pleasantly surprised!! I liked all the actors in this movie especially Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. Suberb acting!!

What girl can not identify with the akwardness of Toula at the beginning of the movie? The big glasses, the frumpy hair. I loved how she became so much more confident after getting a "makeover" and yet she never wore anything too revealing. I also liked how she made John wait so long for anything more then a kiss!

One of my favorite scenes is when Toula is getting ready for the wedding and all the women in her family are chasing after her and plucking hairs off her chin. My very favorite line is when Toula tells her aunt that John is a vegetarian and doesn't eat me, and her aunt says "That's ok, I make lamb"

Excellent movie! I highly recommend it!
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9/10
Love is here to stay... so is her family.
Jessica Carvalho18 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best comedies I already watched,'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' shows us a little bit of the Greek tradition in the north American environment. Toula Portokalos,daughter of two Greek immigrants,always had problems with popularity and friends,since she is so different from the regular blonde American girls. Besides, her traditional Greek family don't let her have many opportunities besides the ones that are about the Greek tradition. One day,Toula sees in her family's restaurant the beautiful and charming teacher Ian Miller, who she become very attracted to. Decided to change the rules of the traditional things in her house, she starts going to the university and working,until she finally meets Ian. They fall in love with each other, but the problem now, is Toula's family,specially her parents, to accept a non-Greek as son-in-law.

**spoiler** PS: I agree with Toula in the end, when she says that thanks for the fact she is a different girl , she could make Ian pay attention to her. It's so much better to be different and unique, than similar to everybody else.
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The little film that could.
Lady-of-Rohan26 March 2005
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a hilarious and sweet film about a Greek woman, waiting for her life to take off. One day however, she meets and falls in love with Ian and gets engaged. The problem is, he's a non-Greek and her family is uneasy about accepting him. Ian must appease them by being baptized into the Greek Orthodox church in a kiddie pool, and inviting his boring parents to meet the family.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding was an independent smash starting with a budget of barely $5 million and in the end, grossing over $200 million at the box office. And there's a solid reason for that. The film is filled with heart, humour, and romance. It's set in the real world, interacting with real characters and not seeming like they are drawn up from some fantasy. It's living proof that independent films can dream big and achieve just as much. Opa!
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1/10
Filled with clichés
Bubba JIojo29 December 2002
I'm living in Prague, Czech Republic, where the movie was released not so long ago. I had heard and read so much about how great this movie was supposed to be, that I forced lots of my friends to come and see it with me. Horrible mistake. None of us even slightly liked the film. Ok, there are a few funny moments, but the characters are very cliché and we all had the feeling that we had seen the movie hundreds of times before. There was only one way how we could review it (sorry): too American and not Greek enough... To me it looked more like some silly money-making blockbuster, rather the work of an artist with a view and something to say (the moral was so plain and childish I felt offended !). Not sure Greek people will appreciate (no, I'm not Greek). And not sure I even learnt anything about the Greek culture in this ... God, what a waste of time and money ...
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1/10
Torturous
philfromno3 March 2003
I find it unfathomable that this film was the breakout hit of last year. My only guess is that it drove people to the theatre who were excited that it was low on curse words and sex. Which is fine, but I wish that they could have added a bit of humor or drama.

There has been a lot of crowing about the crass stereotypes in this film, to which I can only respond "what stereotypes?" These characters are drawn so flimsily that they don't even reach the level of stereotypes. Michael Constantine, playing the supposedly charming and wacky father, is colorless except for an obsession with Greek root words and the healing powers of Windex. Are you laughing yet? I hope so, because that's all you get.

But at least Constantine has a couple of defining character traits. We learn nothing about the other characters except that they are Greek. Well, Greek and obnoxious. This movie would have us believe that Greek Americans' life revolves entirely around their ethinicity, and yet the only defining thing about being Greek is that you sit around and constantly discuss the fact that you are Greek.

For contrast, we have Corbett's parents, who embody some nightmare thumbnail sketch of Waspish stereotype. Surreally quiet and psychotically uncomfortable, they act as if they've never met a mediterranean before. The exchange of idiocies when the WASP mother tries to explain to the apparently retarded Greek mother that the cake she brought to dinner is a bundt cake is one of the more cringe inducing comedy moments here.

Another reviewer here remarked, as if it were a good thing, that the observations in this movie could be easily applied to any number of ethnic groups. I wholeheartedly agree, and add that all it would take to turn it into My Big Fat Italian (Jewish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Armenian, Spanish, etc.) Wedding would be a quick find/replace command on the screenwriter's laptop.

When a movie's highest moment of tension comes from a wedding morning zit (a problem solved minutes later by a stick of cover up) you know you're dealing with a limp excuse for a film.

I'm not asking for The Graduate here, but frankly I can't find a thing about this movie that is worth your time or money. But, apparently, America disagrees, so this movie made over 200 million bucks and is not being turned into the sitcom it always more or less resembled. Go figure.
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1/10
Dumb
Angeneer21 July 2002
I admire everyone who had the mental power to stand the whole film (actually the 6 euros that left my pocket forced me to). It is so idiotic you have to have brain disease at an advanced stage to enjoy the "jokes" and the "humor" of it. And at least, if you are trying to portray Greeks, use Greek actors! For us in Greece it was ridiculous to see Americans trying (and obviously failing) to imitate Greeks in their speech, their dance and their movements. By the way you won't find a single family in Greece remotely resembling these comic figures (well perhaps in some really remote rural areas). And while I certainly know this has nothing to do with Greeks of Greece, I was told by quite a few people that it really strikes a Greek-American chord! We usually say here that people who left Greece during the 50s somehow froze their minds at this decade and carry with them this (non-existent nowadays) picture of Greece. This movie proves it.
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1/10
A ridiculous and horrid film
FilmOtaku23 October 2003
I've labored over how to express my intense hatred for this film. `How can I hate this film?' many, many, MANY of you may ask. My question is, `How could you even tolerate it??' Whoever told Nia Vardalos that she could act should be spayed or neutered. She apparently went to the Richard Gere School of acting which teaches one facial expression. While his is `bland bemusement', hers is `bug-eyed shock'. You know that a punch line is a'comin because her eyes will bug out as the wind up and then. the zaniness ensues.

The writing is formulaic and trite, the characters one dimensional, and one basically comes out of the film with several basic truths: 1.) If you are Greek you are colorful, wacky and dynamic. 2.) If you are not Greek, you are boring. 3.) One who marries another who is of another ethnic background and religion will have no problem converting to said religion. Christ, I could go on, but I will just p*** myself off more thinking about this film again. I've been trying to wipe it from my memory.

Admittedly, I walked into this movie on the defensive as I have two friends who are Greek and basically demanded that I love it. Therefore, I instantly wanted to hate it out of spite, but not being a complete ignoramus I gave it a chance. No dice. It was worse than I could ever have expected, even by the low standards I afford romantic comedies to begin with. I want someone to invent a working time machine so I can go back in time and never see this film; or I want to have a sit-down with Nia Vardalos and demand two hours of my life back. If there is a class action suit against this film, I want to be a part of it. This movie is not `a delight', it is an abomination and a full-on assault on the intelligence of movie-goers nationwide.

--Shelly
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5/10
Really good!
A lot of people have been saying that you will not find this movie funny unless you have lived with, or are part of a Greek family. I am neither of these cases, and I really enjoyed the film.

The plot line was genius, and gave people a real insight to Greek families, and put a hilarious spin on weddings in general, especially when the two families don't get along.

The acting was...okay, however. I think that they could have got a lot better actors in. The music fitted into the film well.

I'd recommend this film to anybody getting married, or just married, or anyone who knows Greek people - in fact, forget that, I'd recommend it to anyone with a sense of humour!
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7/10
Cute, genuine film.
Sergeant_Tibbs10 July 2013
Only watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding as it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay most likely for being a box office smash. It takes the rom-com model and applies it to Greek culture in a charming and informative way. While it has clichés of quirky side characters and such, it's done with such charisma that it's endearing enough to work in a unique way. The humour works, you come to care for the characters and it's edited with a Scorsese-like pace. I wish there wasn't such a distinct lack of conflict in the last act as it's almost as if the filmmakers couldn't bear to take their characters to the true crisis point and it ends not as satisfying as it could've been. Cute watch though.

7/10
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7/10
big fat stupid reviewers
emily3716 April 2003
i usually hate dissing the other reviewers on these things because everyone is entitled to their opinions, but, even though they usually frustrate me, i always read the reviews to gauge how a movie affects the mainstream public, as i think that's usually the most important thing to be considered.

i just finished commenting on 'the rules of attraction', and it surprised me to see how there were more positive comments about that film than this one. it also surprised me to see that most of the negative reviews of this film talked about how they were 'bored' by this movie, or how nia vardalos is 'ugly', or how this film is only for 'women' or 'old people'.

granted, this movie has very little sex, violence, or MTV editing, but it does what most movies try to do and fail at doing; creates an engaging story with interesting characters. however, it's sad to see that this quality apparently doesn't carry much currency anymore, and that people can't deal with humor that's not shoved in their face or isn't right there on the surface.

the ironic thing about this is that MBFGW isn't even that innovative or unique. it takes the normal three act romantic comedy structure and, well, dehollywoodizes it a little bit. yeah, the main characters aren't typical hollywood hot. (well, john corbett is...) but you probably aren't either. and all these people commenting on how it's 'racist' or 'stereotyped'... nia vardalos, the writer, IS GREEK! this film is adapted from her one woman show! it's interesting that 'ethnic' films have to take on, what, a documentary form or something to seem authentic? if anything is racist, that is.

it's super that 11,000 people have voted on this film and that it grossed so much $$. even though, when it comes down to it, this is just a "better" romantic comedy which stays in the box for much of the time, it IS, indeed, better than most movie fare out there and its popularity gives me hope that the "boring" movies with "ugly" people may have a chance with the jaded tards of middle america.
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1/10
~ tries too hard ~unintelligent~ forced humor ~ not at all funny
happy_accidents26 November 2007
I'm so glad to see that others disliked this movie as I did and for the same reasons. 'It's only funny (or sad) if it makes sense' as said by another reviewer. So true ! This is such unintelligent humor that so forced and overdone and unoriginal. And the characters are so cold-hearted and miserable but not in a funny way-in a creepy way. And since we're talking about a movie filled with stereotypes, I can say that I'd always thought the Mediterranean people for the most part were a warm and inviting people. Not here. The way they treated Ian was so uncomfortable and senseless and just weird. It was yet another film that made white men look weak and like big defenseless dorks. I'm married to a white dude who if my family would have treated him that way, he'd say a few choice words and never return and I wouldn't blame him; in fact I'd follow him out the door. And I realize that the whole point of the movie is that her family is so involved in her life because they care and blah blah but enough already! It got old and sickening after a while. OK we get it, you're close-knit and you fight and bicker because you love each other and that's your Greek culture etc. etc I wanted to puke already. Even Toula wasn't the friendly, sweet character I had in mind. Instead, she really lacked personality and warmth. You expect to fall in love with and root for the main character especially in a comedy like this, but I was halfway through the movie and didn't care whether she was happy in the end or what happened to her. And no one was sitting on the groom's side of the church: why? I guess it's comical that white people tend to have smaller and/or unsupportive families and less friends than Greeks ?? Not to me. And the way she looked before her makeover? C'mon! Who looks like that? It's not like she was supposed to have a mental disorder or something. Like I said, it's forced and unoriginal. It tries way too hard. I kept wondering when is it going to get good? When is it going to get funny? I can't believe that it's a hit.... Actually I can believe it. Movies that appeal to the masses usually suck. Good humor needs to be smart, clever and witty. This film and its storyline are none of the above.
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1/10
Pretentious and preachy ethnic comedy
deranian-130 June 2002
I went to see this film after listening to 3 film critics on NPR provide a favorable review. What a disappointment. The film features poor acting, shallow characters, trite situations and predicable results. No originality, no tension. The main character is dowdy, getting old in a hurry with no prospects for marriage when she meets a customer in her father's restaurant and falls in love with him. He is WASPish, tall, dark and handsome. What he sees in her is the lynchpin of the film and its weakest point. None of the characters are believable: to describe them as two dimensional would be a compliment.
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4/10
Utter poop
Jerph19 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was bought for me, and I was actually excited to watch it because of it's high rating here on IMDb. It is thus one of the biggest disappointments of my entire life. The acting is actually good for what the actors had to work with, but that's not saying much. The script is *bad*. If you want some examples of what I'm talking about (SPOILERS!!):

In the school scene where Toula asks Ian if they can elope, you can almost feel the tension of `I have no idea how to say this line.' They can't put any real emotion behind these very tender and loving words because they're such empty, flat characters that emotion can't be imagined.

In the scene where Ian tells his friend he won't be Ian's best man, it's as though Vardalos couldn't think of anything for either of them to say, so she just left the bits and pieces of various conversations in the script and called it a scene.

After the dinner with Ian's parents, where they showed some kind of character (albeit atrociously stereotyped character) they say almost NOTHING AT ALL! Again, through the wedding planning, the party with Toula's family, all of it, it's as though Vardalos just couldn't find something for them to say, so she left it out! Now, one could see it as realistic; that often people are really like that when they're uncomfortable. But if it's not interesting or funny, what's the point of realism??

I could go on. I'll stop. I don't mean to bash Ms. Vardalos' skill. (If you're reading this, I'm sorry :) But the truth is that this movie just isn't good. It fails as a romance because of poor (i.e. missing) character development, and it fails as a comedy because of poor (i.e. missing) dialogue.

Rating: 4/10
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6/10
On the same grade level as Monsoon Wedding, fun if absolutely formulaic
MisterWhiplash7 June 2002
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is cluttered with so much eccentricism and ikeability that those who identify with it more will enjoy it more. I wouldn't see it again, at least for some long period of months, mainly because after a while it became somewhat heavy-handed and had absolutely no where else to turn after its main points were made. Now I know this is a romantic comedy and all, but how amny times do you see the guy use Windex and NOT think that it's hilariously original and magnificent.

But, anyway, it is a good date movie, especially for older couples, and those who might know greeks more will be in on the in-jokes it makes from time to time (although it leaves out that old stereotype of, um, well, it is PG-13 so I shouldn't mention it here). Plus, Nia Vardalos is one of the most charming women I've seen on screen this year which helps. Despite its shortcomings (which it has up until the end), it has its originality, like the house. B
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