My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

4.5 104
Director: Joel Zwick

Cast: Joel Zwick, Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine

     
 

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One woman's rocky road to the altar gets played for laughs in this comedy, adapted from the one-woman off-Broadway show written by and starring Nia Vardalos. Toula (Vardalos) is a Greek-American woman who is in her early thirties and single, with no immediate prospects of changing that status any time soon. This bothers Toula a bit, but not half as much as it… See more details below

Overview

One woman's rocky road to the altar gets played for laughs in this comedy, adapted from the one-woman off-Broadway show written by and starring Nia Vardalos. Toula (Vardalos) is a Greek-American woman who is in her early thirties and single, with no immediate prospects of changing that status any time soon. This bothers Toula a bit, but not half as much as it distresses her mother (Lainie Kazan) and father (Michael Constantine), who want to send her to Greece in hopes of finding a husband in the old country. Toula isn't interested in leaving the country to find a man, but since she works in the family business -- a Greek restaurant in Chicago called Dancing Zorba's -- she has to hear about it whether she likes it or not. One day, after seeing a handsome stranger in the restaurant and not having the courage to talk to him, Toula decides she needs a bit of self-improvement. Despite her dad's misgivings, Toula signs up for a night-school class studying computers, trades in her glasses for contact lenses, gets a different job at a travel agency, and spruces herself up with a new look and a new attitude. To her very pleasant surprise, she once again encounters the handsome stranger, who soon asks her out on a date. Schoolteacher Ian Miller (John Corbett) is seemingly perfect -- he's tall, handsome, smart, good-natured, and soon in love with Toula -- except for two little things: he's not Greek, and he's a vegetarian, both of which horrify Toula's family. When Ian pops the question (and Toula says yes), the bride-to-be has to negotiate a reasonably peaceful meeting between Ian's upper-class parents and her own working-class extended family. There's also the matter of the wedding, which Toula's mother is planning around the notion that quantity IS quality. My Big Fat Greek Wedding also features Ian Gomez (Vardalos' real-life husband), Louis Mandylor, Andrea Martin, and Joey Fatone (from the pop group *NSYNC). Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson helped produce the film through the auspices of their production company, Playtone.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Just in time for Valentine's Day comes the DVD release of this wildly popular romantic comedy, the sleeper hit of 2002. And deservedly so: My Big Fat Greek Wedding falls back on tried-and-true conventions of romantic comedy, but it presents them so winningly as to make viewers think they're seeing them for the first time. Nia Vardalos, who wrote the semi-autobiographical screenplay, is that most refreshing of leading ladies -- one who's not "conventionally" beautiful but whose warmth and charm makes her more attractive than most of the walking Kewpie dolls regularly paraded across America's movie screens. She plays Toula, the frumpy daughter of Greek restaurateurs (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) who constantly chide her about remaining unmarried. A diet, some contact lenses, and new makeup transform Toula into an attractive young woman, and before long she has landed herself a handsome fiancé (John Corbett), who must now run the gauntlet of her eccentric relatives to win acceptance into this close-knit family. Vardalos, coming from a similar background, lards her script with keen but loving observations about Greek-American culture. The characters are broadly sketched but rendered with consummate skill by veteran performers who know how far they can go before lapsing into caricature. Director Joel Zwick (Second Sight) wisely lets his cast have its collective say; his main contribution amounts to getting the story moving quickly enough in the first half so that its momentum in the second becomes self-sustaining. Rich in emotion and illuminated by repeated flashes of character-driven humor, this Wedding is one you'll be happy to attend -- over and over. Vardalos, Zwick, and Corbett supply a joint commentary for the DVD, which also includes cast/crew bios.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a modest, likeable comedy, would have been less effective if it had been put through the Hollywood system. Nia Vardalos's script has enough Hollywood convention in it that having a newcomer in the lead automatically brings to it a freshness that a romantic comedy superstar like Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock would have had a difficult time mustering. There is no cynicism in the film, which may make it difficult for some viewers to take. Vardalos and the rest of the performers seem genuinely amused by the clichéd scenarios and the familiar bits of comedic business they are given to play. They either find new ways to make the material work, or simply radiate goodwill toward each other and the audience to such an extent that the audience reciprocates. Maintaining a charming ease for its entire ninety-five minute running time, Vardalos and her cast desire nothing but the commendable goal of entertaining their audience. This is an unabashedly warm and friendly film that was seemingly made for all the right reasons.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
Like Vardalos and Corbett, who play their roles with vibrant charm, the film, directed by Joel Zwick, is heartfelt and hilarious in ways you can't fake.
New York Times
An amiable, offhanded comedy about ethnic identity and last-chance romance.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
There is so much goodwill here, you are charmed as much as tickled into laughing.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/11/2003
UPC:
0026359211829
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG
Source:
Hbo Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nia Vardalos Toula
John Corbett Ian Miller
Michael Constantine Gus
Lainie Kazan Maria
Andrea Martin Aunt Voula
Joey Fatone Angelo
Gia Carides Nikki
Louis Mandylor Nick
Bess Meisler Yia Yia
Fiona Reid Harriet Miller
Bruce Gray Rodney Miller
Ian Gomez Mike
Jayne Eastwood Mrs. White
Gale Garnett Aunt Lexy
Gerry Mendicino Uncle Taki
Marla Vacratsis Aunt Frieda
John Kalangis Greek Teacher
Christina Eleusiniotis Toula at 6
Kaylee Vieira Schoolgirl
Marita Zouravlioff Toula at 12
Sarah Osman Athena at 15
Petra Wildgoose Car Pool Friend
Melissa Todd Car Pool Friend
Stavroula Logothettis Athena
Constantine Tsapralis Foti
Frank Falcone Suitor
Eugene Martel Suitor
Joe Persechini Suitor
Peter Xynnis Suitor
Anthony Kandiotis Priest
Nick Kutsukos Bouzouki Player
Peter Tharos Yianni
Chrissy Paraskevopoulos Cousin Jennie
Kathryn Haggis Cousin Marianthi
Charlene Bitzas Aunt Nota
Chris Savides Greek Chanter
Constantine Vardalos Greek Chanter
Scott Khouri Waiter
John Tsifliklis Wedding Singer
Peter Chalkiopoulos Wedding Band
Peter Gogos Wedding Band
Spiro Milankou Wedding Band
Victor Politis Wedding Band
Jim Rouvas Wedding Band
Arielle Sugarman Paris

Technical Credits
Joel Zwick Director
Deva Anderson Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Brooks Executive Producer
Enrico Campana Set Decoration/Design
Andy Chmura Camera Operator
Michael Clancy Costumes/Costume Designer
David Coatsworth Co-producer
Robin D. Cook Casting
Nancy Vardalos Ginakes Choreography
Gary Goetzman Producer
Mia Goldman Editor
Tom Hanks Producer
Alexander Janko Score Composer
Jeffrey Jur Cinematographer
Gregory Keen Production Designer
Burton J. LeBlanc Makeup
Liberman/Patton Casting Casting
Grant Lucibello Asst. Director
Martin Malivoire Special Effects Supervisor
Tom Mather Sound Mixer
David McAree Asst. Director
Kei Ng Art Director
Kostas Petsis Choreography
Steven Shareshian Executive Producer
Nia Vardalos Screenwriter
Norm Waitt Executive Producer
Chris Wilson Score Composer
Rita Wilson Producer
Dorota Zajac Makeup

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Growing Up Greek [7:37]
2. Nothing Ever Changes [5:12]
3. Your Own Private Greek Statue [2:49]
4. Head Vs. Neck [3:28]
5. Something Different [4:27]
6. A Window Of Opporutnity [5:18]
7. Romantic Interludes [8:19]
8. The Family Knows! [7:47]
9. Will You Marry Me? [3:06]
10. Becoming Greek [4:23]
11. Meet the Family [5:10]
12. Whose Wedding is This? [6:30]
13. A Quiet Dinner [8:08]
14. What Really Matters [3:36]
15. Morning Madness [3:54]
16. First Steps [5:10]
17. The Wedding Reception [9:50]

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