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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Love is here to stay... so is her family

Directed by:

Joel Zwick

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 95 minutes

UK Certificate: pg

On DVD

Country: United States

Nia Vardalos (who also wrote the screenplay) stars as Toula, a Greek woman rebelling against her culture's expectations of marriage and children, remaining single and taking courses at a local college. Here she blossoms from a dowdy old maid into an attractive independent woman. Her extensive family of larger-than-life relatives don't understand her reluctance to marry, and her father in particular is disappointed with his daughter's independent ideas. The family members are very loud and lively, and extremely attached to their Greek culture and traditions.

While working at her job in a Greek travel agency, Toula is spotted through the window by Ian (John Corbett). Handsome and funny, he catches her eye and a secret romance ensues. Secrets are hard to keep in a big family, and soon they are discovered. Her parents are extremely disappointed that he is not a Greek boy – her mother forbidding the romance and her father saddened that he has not been consulted as expected by tradition. In spite of her parents' attempts to introduce her to some Greek suitors, it is Ian who makes Toula happy and they continue to see each other. When Ian proposes marriage, Toula immediately agrees. Their problems are only just beginning, as their two cultures clash.

The script is both funny and revealing, and being semi-autobiographical contains more than a grain of truth. There is plenty of chemistry between the two leads, with both characters being genuine and believable. The extended Greek family are quirky and amusing, and played with infectious enthusiasm. It is the likeability of the characters which gives this film its greatest appeal.

It's Got: Great performances from Nia Vardalos, John Corbett and the extended cast.

It Needs: A bit of background to explain some of the characters’ obsessions and hang-ups.

DVD Extras The ‘Greek School’ track (which displays trivia on all things Greek while the film is playing) is a real bonus. Extras: Cast & filmmaker commentary, Trailer, Soundbites, Cast biographies, Production notes, ‘Greek School’ trivia track. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Alternatively: Bridget Joness Diary, Notting Hill

Summary

An appealing comedy, brimming with optimism, with likeable characters and lively performances from the whole cast.

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