Greek Spanakopita: The Wedding
Having been brought up in a very traditional Greek family, Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos - Driving Aphrodite), a slightly plain young woman, is expected to become a typical Greek woman, and get married to a nice Greek boy and have nice Greek children. Now in her 30s, she is feeling the pressure even more, as her father tries to line her up with several potential husbands of his choice. Then one day, whilst working in the family restaurant, Toula finds herself smitten with a customer, Ian Miller. With no hope of anything coming of it, she puts it to the back of her mind. Feeling restricted by her family and job, she enrols in a computer course, which leads her to go and work for her Aunt Voula in her travel agency, as well as make something of her slightly dowdy looks.
One day, Ian spots her through the window, and they soon hit it off as they become romantically involved. Unfortunately, Ian is not Greek, and knowing that her family would strongly disapprove of the relationship, she tries to keep it a secret. But their clandestine romance is discovered, and in an attempt to stop it, her father, Gus, tries to set her up with more dubious candidates. However, Toula and Ian seem to be destined for each other, and finally Gus, and the family, attempts to welcome him into their Greek family life and teach him all about the Greek traditions.
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a fun modern romantic comedy which follows the trials and tribulations of a young Greek woman, as she attempts to find her own way in life. It also highlights the initial difficulties that her boyfriend finds, as he attempts to fit into the Greek way of life. As you would expect, the plot is very predictable, but that shouldn't bother you, because the enjoyment of the film is all the little stories which takes you from the beginning to the end. For example, the first time Ian is introduced to the whole Greek family, is very funny but very true. He is completely overwhelmed with the sheer size of the family and how close they all are. Yes at times the characters are more like caricatures of real people, but this helps to make the film fun and very enjoyable.
In the lead role of Toula is Nia Vardalos (Connie and Carla) a slightly frumpy Greek woman who turns from an ugly duckling into a swan. Yes the change of character is pretty unbelievable, but this film is like a fairytale and this change works really well within that films premise. To be honest, I really enjoyed her performance as I feel she displayed her own personality in this role, especially as she also wrote the story, and use to perform it as a one woman show.
Opposite Vardalos is John Corbett (Serendipity) as Ian Miller, the poor man who has too win over Toula's very traditional father and family. Although at times his performance comes over as a bit weak and unmemorable, it is still very enjoyable, and provides the perfect stool for Vardalos's comic talents. The rest of the cast put in great performances, mostly of the comical nature, which helps to allow Vardalos to shine in all her scenes.
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is directed by Zoel Zwick who has directed many TV shows such as Happy Days, and Mork & Mindy. This probably explains as to why the characters come over as caricatures, but as I said earlier, this makes the film very enjoyable. Personally, I feel he has done a great job of making a romantic comedy which although, primarily aimed towards a female audience, still has enough to keep the male audience entertained.
What this all boils down is that I love "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", it maybe because I can see many scenes which mimic some of my own personal experiences, but mainly because it is just a good, fun film. It never tries to take it self seriously, although it does display some real issues when two people of different nationalities get together. Unless you really detest the genre of romantic comedy I would recommend this one purely on the fact that it is fun and light hearted.