My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Release year: 2002
Director: Joel Zwick
Screenwriter: Nia Vardalos
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Louis Mandylor, Bess Meisler
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Original Screenplay. 2 Golden Globes nominations: Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Nia Vardalos).
Toula (Nia Vardalos) is 30 and the daughter of a Greek family where girls are expected to marry Greek boys, cook a lot of food, and have a lot of babies. But Toula has always felt average and talks her dad into letting her get an education. Here she blossoms and soon falls head over heels in love with Ian (John Corbett). The only problem is, Ian is not Greek.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding went from sleeper hit to one of the highest-grossing romantic comedies of all times mainly due to Vardalos’s (I Hate Valentine’s Day, 2009) warm and funny script. She has based the story on her own family (first as a succesful one-woman play) and her familiarity with the subject gives depth and integrity to the film as does her performance as Toula. She has a certain silent presence until Corbett (Raising Helen, 2004) comes along and breathes life into her. Perhaps their strong chemistry is the reason they worked together again on I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009) which was also scripted as well as directed by Vardalos. The story of a family unapproving of a boyfriend/girlfriend is perhaps a well-used pitch, even with cultural differences, but by giving it a Greek spin and with extremly well-written characters Vardalos makes it feel fresh and new. Incredibly funny in a fuzzywarm and cosy way.
Ian Gomez who plays Ian’s best friend Mike is Nia Vardalos’s reallife husband.
Picture copyright: SF Film