My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Not as wonderful as the grandmothers of America would have you believe, but not bad at all. Nia Vardalos has an effortless, self-deprecating charm as Toula, the 30-year-old Greek single whose family hounds her to marry a nice Greek boy and make Greek babies. Instead she falls in love with whitebread teacher John Corbett, causing no end of consternation for her father (Michael Constantine), mother (Lainie Kazan), and aunt (Andrea Martin). Vardalos’ script makes the Greek family relentlessly ethnic and leeches any possible personality out of Corbett’s own parents; Corbett himself is made a little too perfect and acquiescent. The movie is really little more than an extended pilot episode for the short-lived sitcom it would later become (My Big Fat Greek Life, with most of the cast returning except Corbett), but it’s good comfort food and has some inspired comedy moments; it’s worth it just to hear Andrea Martin try to pronounce “biopsy.” As everyone knows by now, it was a runaway sleeper hit, becoming one of the biggest independent successes of all time. Director Joel Zwick is primarily known for helming sitcom episodes; his brother is Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai).

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