Movie #309 My Big Fat Greek Wedding
(2001, US, d. Joel Zwick)
One of my family’s favorite films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a classy, fun, and funny PG-13 family film. It is the rare Hollywood (hit) flick that doesn’t star any big names, but still has an ensemble cast and even still manages to get people into the theaters. It is even more unlikely for it to succeed because the family at the core of the film is foreign and the culture is fundamentally different from the American one. But it is very similar to the Indian one, and that’s one of the main reasons I love watching this film with my family. It’s an interesting experience watching the lives of immigrants on screen and picking out the similarities you have with them. Though I’m making this explanation far longer than it should be, I’ll suffice it with this: My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a film that pokes fun at the extended family and all the quirks and nuances that come with them, and for that it’s a great film. Well written and acted by newcomer Nia Vardalos (who never really managed to do anything significant after this film), Wedding also is a classic American story, and that’s why I think it applies to everyone. It’s the story of the average girl. The girl who can do much better than she thinks she can. It’s The Princess Diaries, except set in a large Greek and intrusive family. It’s a funny film, filled with subtle (and not so subtle) observations about family, love, and life. It also benefits from not having been put through the traditional Hollywood system machinery. Produced independently, it maintains the heart and soul a traditional independent film should have.