My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

USA, 2002. Rated PG. 96 minutes.

Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Joey Fatone, Louis Mandylor, Ian Gomez, Gia Carides, Fiona Reid, Bruce Gray
Writer: Nia Vardalos
Music: Alexander Janko, Chris Wilson
Cinematographer: Jeffery Jur
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson
Director: Joel Zwick


Grade: D- Review by Carlo Cavagna

I f I had prepared the theatrical trailer for this film, the voiceover would have gone something like this:Cliches in love

"In a world that encourages cinematic risk-taking… In a world that fights cultural stereotypes… In a world where feminism has thrown off the yoke of the subservient, stay-at-home wife and equality of the sexes is celebrated… Nia Vardalos will turn back the wheels of progress! She will suggest that women want the same thing women tell men not to expect any longer--a cheesecake mate. For no apparent reason, she will attract a pliant, good-looking man! He will do whatever she wants, including subsume his own identity to fit into her ghastly family of loudmouths!… Now, this domineering woman will jump out of your movie screen or television set like that little girl in The Ring, and club you over the head with a bottle of Windex until you give in to her aggressively overbearing humor. You will laugh, you will cry… or there will be consequences. Nia Vardalos and John Corbett star in this year's most unforgettable horror film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding!"

If My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the highest grossing independent film of all time, then the big studios have it right. What works at the box office is broad, formulistic humor and mainstream 'wackiness' that in the end celebrates prosaic conventionality. If this is what people want, then I should give up critiquing films… and I'm sure that after this scathing assessment of such a popular film, readers will agree.

Review © February 2003 by AboutFilm.Com and the author.
Images © 2001 IFC Films. All Rights Reserved.

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