Nia Vardalos grew up in a Greek family in, of all places, Winnipeg, Canada. She met and married a man with no Greek roots. Obviously, this left her with a lot of stuff to work out relating to her family. So like most people born in Winnipeg, she moved somewhere else to become rich and famous. She moved to New York and wrote a one-woman show called, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Fate took over. Rita Wilson saw the show and recommended it to her husband, Tom Hanks who decided to produce it as a movie. No longer a woman show, the movie does still star Vardalos as the woman whose family cannot imagine her marrying anyone but a man whose family hails from Greece. She still lives with her parents (Michael Constantine & Lainie Kazan) who, of course, run a Greek restaurant. Her father is obsessed by all things Greek. Her mother is long suffering. Vardalos starts to get some space from her family by leaving the restaurant and working at a Travel Agency. There, she meets and falls in love with an easy-going WASP college professor (John Corbett). Chaos erupts as the family rejects Corbett. But this is a romantic comedy so, of course, Corbett proceeds to win over the family and everyone lives happily ever after. I'm not spoiling anything with this revelation!
The fact that this story is so
predictable does take away a bit from the enjoyment. Don't get me wrong.
I cry during Hallmark commercials so this kind of story does not bother
me at all. But I do need a little something out of the ordinary.
You won't get it in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It sticks to
the formula plot for dear life. And the director, Joel Zwick, has
spent his career directing sitcoms so he fits right in. My Big
Fat Greek Wedding is a very cute movie. Nia Vardalos does a nice
job as the bride to be. And Constantine and Kazan are very entertaining
as the worried parents. Where has Michael Constantine been anyway?
I remember him from when he was the principal on Room
222. Andrea Martin gets to have fun overacting as Vardalos' Aunt.
John Corbett is still most famous as Chris in the Morning on Northern
Exposure but was seen most recently as Sarah Jessica Parker's latest
ex-boyfriend on Sex and the
City. He is good here but I had trouble accepting him and Vardalos
as a couple. Call me shallow but I don't think he would
have given her a second look, particularly since they had her made up to
look pretty unattractive in the first half of the movie. They clean
her up after she starts dating Corbett and she looks pretty good.
The ethnic stereotypes are not stretched at all in My Big Fat Greek
Wedding. Both Vardalos' Greek family and Corbett's WASP parents
are taken straight from the TV sitcom playbook. Ok, I know I'm being
picky. This is a heartwarming and amusing movie. So don't be
like me. Just sit back and enjoy it.