Best Chick Flicks-My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding - Is this The Right Title?

I offer the above question to anyone who has ever seen this movie which is a favourite of mine!

Anyone who has ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, indeed anyone who has ever reviewed it will tell you that the movie is not really about the wedding - well it is but the wedding itself takes up very little screen time.

Indeed the wedding doesn't really happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie.

If you're looking for a movie about the actual ceremony - this isn't it but it is all the better for that in my opinion.

By the end of the movie you may decide it should be called 'My Big Fat Greek Family' but you will still want to watch it again :o)


cover art for My Big Fat Greek Wedding
cover art for My Big Fat Greek Wedding | Source
Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson who seems to have an eye for hit movies.
Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson who seems to have an eye for hit movies.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding - A Word of Mouth Triumph

Nia Vardalos is the star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, she is a Greek-Canadian, born in Manitoba.

Nia started acting when she was young and eventually ended up at Chicago's Second City Theatre Group. It was while she was there doing improv and skit sketches that she had the idea to write a one-woman show.

She rang all of her friends and asked them to send her the funniest stories she had ever told them about her family. They faxed and phoned and emailed back and Nia knew she was right to think that this would be funny enough to make a show.

Her show was a sell-out. When Tom Hanks's wife, Rita Wilson saw it, she convinced Tom that they should produce a movie of it and of course, Nia was kept in the lead role. Incidentally, Rita had a similar conversation with Tom after seeing Mama Mia at the theatre! 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' remains one of the top grossing independent movies.

What makes 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' such a success is the fact that it is bursting with Nia's autobiographical stories and an ensemble cast who are just brilliant - it really could not fail.

Whatever it was that Rita Wilson saw in the show at the theatre certainly made the transition to film - it is a wonderful story.

Toula, played by Nia Vardalos
Toula, played by Nia Vardalos | Source

Toula - A Woman Looking for Love

When we first meet Toula, she is working in her parents' Greek restaurant, Dancing Zorba's and she is going through a period of self-reflection, wondering why, at thirty, she is still working here with no real prospects for change.

A handsome stranger comes into the restaurant and she is immediately smitten but she knows she will remain unnoticed whilst she remains at the restaurant.

She tells her parents that she wants to go to night classes and learn about computers and they ask why - she could stay at the restaurant and earn money there but Toula is a bright girl who feels that if she stays too immersed in her own culture, she will never really get the most out of life.

Her parents, Gus and Maria are first generation immigrants and their lives are still very Greek in nature. Toula jokes that even their house was modeled on the Parthenon. Her father tells anyone who will listen that he can give the Greek root of every word in the language. Toula invites him to do this with the words 'kimono' and he still makes something up.

Toula describes her childhood as being surrounded by 'perfect blonde' girls whilst she was 'a swarthy six year old with sideburns' so we know she has a great sense of humour from the outset of the movie but she is a funny girl in a house full of funny characters.

The main humour comes from the many idiosyncrasies of being of Greek descent.

Toula makes a huge change - she gets rid of her glasses, ditches her frumpy clothes and gets a job in her Aunt Voula's travel agency, all in the name of reinventing herself in order to find love.

John Corbett as Ian Miller
John Corbett as Ian Miller | Source
Ian and Toula, man and wife
Ian and Toula, man and wife | Source

My Big Fat Greek Wedding - "A Greek Should Marry A Greek!"

Toula is working at the travel agent when that same handsome stranger from the restaurant walks in to book a trip. His name is Ian Miller and he is an American born and bred. He is young and handsome with long hair.

He recognises her but he also sees that she is a very changed woman and he likes what he sees and asks her out to dinner.

Toula cannot believe that the man she so admired likes her just as much and they go out to dinner and it is not long after that Ian declares his love for Toula and they decide to get married.

In many respects, the two main stars of the movie, Vardalos and John Corbett act as the fall guys for the other members of the cast. Their romance whilst sweet and rather heartening is a focal point not only for the movie's romance but also for much of its humour.

John Corbett plays Ian Miller as a well dressed, long haired, handsome American who is madly in love with this funny, quirky, pretty Greek girl.

He soon learns though, that to marry a Greek girl, you also need to marry her entire family.

Toula's news of her engagement does not go down well even when Ian agrees to convert to the Greek Orthodox Church.

Her parents don't understand why she is in love with this man when there are so many good looking men of Greek extraction around.

Nia Vardalos' script is as tight as a drum, mixing the romance, humour and ethnic complications with ease.

As a viewer, your heart will rise when she gets her man - Vardalos has laid on enough pathos at the start of the movie to make her transition to pretty, smart travel agent a cause for celebration - you will be rooting for Toula right from the start.

At the same time you will be laughing at her dad, Gus trying to cure every ailment known to man with Windex.

Her mother makes everyone feel guilty and you will laugh at the power she wields over her household.

Her father tells the family "I am the head of the house" but her mother, Maria replies "But I am the neck and I can move the head wherever I want".

So will Maria and Gus accept Ian into the family?

Gus and Maria, proud parents
Gus and Maria, proud parents | Source

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

It's All About The Family, Never Mind the Bride and Groom!

Nia Vardalos should be applauded for converting her one-woman show into a movie and as a chick flick the movie works really well with the humour very much created from Toula's perceptions of her family, her romance and eventually her wedding ceremony.

It is a chick flick you can watch more than once because Toula is such a great girl. From the first scene you are willing her to find the man of her dreams and to some degree, leave behind the more oppressive elements of her Greek culture and background but even that is handled with an adept balance between the reality of being a first generation American in a Greek home and also respecting your family's tradition - Vardalos carries it off very successfully.

By the end of the movie you want to go 'Awwww' to the post-wedding scenes but you have been kept laughing right to the end.

Some critics have written that the movie should have concentrated more on the actual wedding ceremony and perhaps also developed the relationship of Toula and Ian a bit more but the movie's main job is to project the sheer 'production' of a traditional Greek wedding where it seems very likely that the bride and groom do just play supporting roles.

All in all, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a very good movie.

Many thanks for reading.

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Comments 73 comments

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Ish, thanks for your comment - yes the whole 'big fat...wedding' has really taken off hasn't it?


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An engaging review! I saw this film a few years later after its release and it was totally different from typical Hollywood films. I found this film quite entertaining and humorous. Its cast, especially its lead pair, was good. The words 'My Big Fat ........ Wedding' is quite commonly used these days, particularly for lavish weddings and inter-cultural weddings. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared on Facebook


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Jools-yes, Cardelean is the one, :)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Denise, many thanks for your comment. I will have to pop over to your daughter's page. Is it Cardelean?


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

BlissfulWriter - an oldie but goodie! Thanks for your comment.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

I loved this movie, mostly because of my daughter's Big, Fat, Romanian Wedding. After experiencing that I could completely relate! (She wrote a hub about it, BTW). Great movie...loved the story and I love John Corbett. Thanks for the wonderful review. Am sharing.


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

Oh, yeah. I remember watching this movie a long time ago. Pretty good.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Stephanie, glad you liked it. It's always nice when the hubby also likes the movies you like :o)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

This movie has to be among my very favorites! and it's not just a chick flick - my husband loved it, too! Thanks for reminding me about it. I think it's time to rent it again! :)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Bruce, thanks for the comment - yes, married life brings with it some interesting trips to the cinema :o) This movie manages to weave comedy and culture together very well and we're all the beneficiaries of it.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

I have never heard of this movie....just joking. I was dragged to this movie back in 2003 when it was a huge success...I remember word of mouth was awesome and my wife had to see the movie....and since she sits through many Bruce Willis movies for me....there was no way I could not go with her. But I was surprised by the movie...I thought Nia Vardalos and John Corbett made a great screen couple. I remember laughing out loud a few times.....as well as having a shoulder for my wife to cry on.....glad to see you mention Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson....as this is one of the best producing jobs they have ever had.....loved the review and your insights...voted up and awesome....keep up the good work.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Deb, thanks for your comment, I think it has brought back happy memories for a lot of former viewers :o)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

This is a great movie. I haven't seen it since it first came out in the theater, but this hub makes me want to rewatch it.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Martie - glad you discovered my hub, thanks :o) It is well worth a watch if you get the chance, many thanks for your comment.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' is now on my list of 'To-be-watch Movies'. Thanks for this vibrant review, jools99 :)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Michelle, many thanks for your comment - definitely a movie to watch more than once.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

This movie is a must watch!! I loved it at it was so funny. Nia Vardalos was a hoot...and the Greek family is so closely knit!! Thanks for the wonderful review, Jools.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Keith, you are very kind. Many thanks for your comment.


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Thank you for the awesome movie review :) Definitely did the movie justice with this :D

Voted up and across the board!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Danette, many thanks for your comment. My hubby is more than happy to watch chick flicks with me now that he knows how funny they are.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

One of our favorite movies at home. My husband absolutely loved it and couldn't stop laughing when we saw it. He still recites some of the lines such as "It's from the Greek word...." and jokes about Windex.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Annie, many thanks for the comment and the share!


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

I have seen this movie a few times now and have enjoyed it more each time, it is so funny and beautiful. The characters of Toula and Ian are believable and down to earth and this contrasts with the 'family' and all their associated idiosyncrasies. Thank you for this great review of a memorable, aptly titled movie. My votes and best wishes to you Jools and sharing.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Kelley - many thanks for your comment, pleased that it put you back in the mood to see it!

John - many thanks for your kind comment - I have not seen 'My Life In Ruins', I will have to look out for it.

Audra -in our country, that product is called Windease! If anyone sees you taking one of those, they make sure they walk in front of you :o)

Jenna - glad you liked it! Many thanks for your comment.


kelleyward 4 years ago

What a great review Jools! This made me want to see this great flick again. Voted up

And shared! Kelley


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Jools, and what a great hub this is.

Another "chick flick" I love starting Nia Vardalos is "My Life in Ruins" - another great "chick flick."

Voted up on your wonderfully well written article

John


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Windex has a new meaning after watching that flick! Great review!


Jenna Pope profile image

Jenna Pope 4 years ago from Southern California

Thanks for your great review. I loved this movie!!! Voted up.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Audrey, you are very kind :o), many thanks for reading and commenting!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love this movie! I laughed myself silly all the way through as I took on the role of each character. Each time I see it I feel like its the first time. You've done an outstanding job reviewing this marvelous chick-flick. O, too love John Corbett's "quiet giant" acting. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and sharing!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

LifeAsABlog, what a good analogy - comfort food! Many thanks for the comment.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Mohan, as you say a great story is a great story and that can be enjoyed by anyone. Hubby just watches everything with me now, he trusts my taste (though I do occasionally get it wrong :o(), we both love a good chick flick.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Linda, yeah, the dreaded zits! We've all been there I bet :o) Many thanks, as always for the comment.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I love this movie! I just watched it again a couple of weeks ago...my favorite scene is when she gets a pimple right before her wedding! Hahaha! we could all relate to the dreaded attack of the zits. Well, most of us can relate. Great tribute to a fam movie!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

This movie is a great example of sound screenplay, word of mouth marketing and a triumph of a small indie film ( it was produced by Tom Hanks and his wife Rita who championed the script) Your review and detailed summary of the script brings back a huge smile as I remember watching it first time around ( I don't mind watching so called chick flicks as for me good storytelling is good storytelling whatever genre it may be!) As always this series is a delight to read, Julie. well done! voted up and across.


Life as a Blog profile image

Life as a Blog 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

Definitely agree! Well made flick with loveable characters and a feel good story. It's comfort food that you can enjoy again and again! Great review!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

carter06, many thansk and yes, it seems from other comments that this is one of the reasons people really like it - because of their own family.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

NigelS, thanks for your comment and also for pointing out my tagging error - I have fixed it :o)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Terrye, many thanks for the VUM (? - voted up?), glad you liked the article.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Ardie, many thanks for your comment, Mmmmm, I wonder who you could mean? Other comments suggest that our own family's little foilbles are one of the reason we like this movie.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Mhatter99, don't worry, you 'non' chick flick lover....you are not alone in being a fat (see Bill, Xstatic and Josh's comments) - you can't beat a good storyline :o)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Christy, yes, we have great taste :o), I have seen it quite a few times as well, many thanks for your comment.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

I agree. I like this one!

signed,

anyone but mhatter99 (who hates chick flicks)


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

This movie is hilarious and one of my favorites too! I think the best parts are when Toula's family is all together =) Reminds me of a certain family I happen to know reeeeeal well. Thanks for reminding me to go out and buy this movie tomorrow!


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Great review, Jools! I enjoyed this movie even though it was a chick flick. Where's my windex? :) VUM!


Nigelstrawberry profile image

Nigelstrawberry 4 years ago from Cheshire

I loved the movie too. Just a little thing - you've got a pic of Tom Hanks and his wife but have tagged it Tom Cruise ...


carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

It's a great movie and one that many can resonate with...and a really good job on the review jools...Up & shared...cheers


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Jools, I watch this movie every time it's on TV and it still makes me smile! You pick some of my faves here in your hubs. We have very good taste hehe :) I vote up!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Mary, many thanks for your comment - I think she did a great job converting her monologue into a script. It's a great chick flick/comedy


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Great pic to pick! I commend Nia Vardalos for the job she did in combining her life 'stories' into a script and very funny movie. Everyone in the movie is hilarious and the exaggerated look into being Greek in America is well portrayed.

Your review is comprehensive and leaves little to the imagination. Can't help but notice you've seen it more than once!

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Yeahh Jools,

You will do an awesome job, that is one of my all time favorites! I will be visiting for sure, do it proud for me Jools! :) I will honored to read one of my favorite chick flick reviews by you!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Josh....I've seen it like 10 times....consider it done! Well, you know what I mean, watch out for it coming up sometime this week.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

teaches12345, yes, John Corbett is lovely isn't he? And Ian is such a sweet, gentle guy. I have not seen him in anything else though - I should pop over to IMDb and see what else I can see him on. So your family is full of characters eh? I have a few in my family - I even have some I would not invite to a wedding :o)


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Ok Jools! Have you ever watched "50 First Dates" with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore?" In my opinion, a classic chick flick!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

One of my favorite chick flicks. Love John Corbett in this movie and just enjoy his gentle acting talent. This movie always gets me laughing at how much they resemble our family. Great review.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Of course you can Josh - I'm about to start a new one but the more the merrier :o)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

SueLynn, many thanks for your kind comment - I just love this movie and I would love to see her one-woman show of it. Thanks for the comment on my writing too - nice to know I'm getting it right some of the time :o)


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Jools,

Yes, I totally agree, can I give you an idea for a chick flick review for you to write in the future!?


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Josh - like Isaid to Bill, chick flick is a generalisation, it's great that guys can get into these movies - it's because they have great story lines.

Many thanks for your comment.


Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Jools, this is one of my favorite movies for sure. What a great job you did writing it up. I had no idea about the origins of the film and it was really interesting reading. I love your line: "Nia Vardalos' script is as tight as a drum, mixing the romance, humour and ethnic complications with ease." You write so well. Bravo - I would recommend this movie to anyone! Voted up and across and shared. :)))


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Debbie, many thanks for the comment and the wall share - I appreciate it. I am in a real chick flick mood at the moment as I roll towards being unemployed for the first time since I was 16 - I will get a chance to catch up on some more of them over the next few weeks and maybe do a few more hubs based on my favourites :o)


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Jools,

Awesome movie choice to write a review on! I may be a guy, but like I have all ready told you more than once, I like chick flicks. And this movie happens to be my sister's favorite movie. So, I will be sharing it with her, thanks! Great review, another excellent and thorough job well done! Keep up the great work Jools Voted and shared.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

this is one of the best movies... LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS MOVIE.. I am sharing on my girlfriends wall we watch this movie.. so many times.. she really loves it.. voted up

Debbie


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Bill, my hubby watches them all with me and he likes them too so 'chick flick' is a general term in this case. I think if a movie has a good storyline, everybody will enjoy it, not just us gals :o)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Is this a chick flick? Well shoot, where does that put me on the gender line because I loved it! Laughed all the way through it. Great review....now I'm concerned about my manhood! LOL


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Paula, you're right, the balance of this movie is just spot on. Many thanks for your comment.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Janine - I think it appeals to us all becuase we think about our own family's little quirks and foibles.

Many thanks for your comment.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Steve, I saw this on DVD first time but it's been a favourite since then, i often watch it with my daughter who is also a fan. I love seeing comedies at the cinema - it's great having a laugh with lots of other people :o)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Daisy - wow, a family tree back to Alexander the Great and another back to a US president - very interesting indeed. I bet the wedding was an amazing affair :o), I have never been to a culturally diverse wedding.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Julie,

Thanks for publishing a great review about a great movie. I've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding more than once, and I notice more things in the story prior to the wedding every time I see it.

I was a bridesmaid in a Greek wedding. One of my college roommates, who says her lineage can be traced back to Alexander the Great, married a direct descendant of US President James Monroe. The cultural differences between my friend's Greek Orthodox upbringing and the groom's Southern Baptist family and friends was very interesting for me to observe.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England

Thanks for the review Jools, I remember seeing this with Sandra at the cinema and she was laughing so hard the people around us were staring at her, hey it was a comedy wasn't it?

I have Greek ancestry and I was laughing too but Sandy was laughing like a hyena. :)

Voted Up


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Another movie I just loved. Seriously I love this whole movie, but I absolutely love her dad with Windex and her grandmother. Everytime I see this movie I seriously can't help but laugh. Thanks for writing yet another of my favorites. Voted up and shared too.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jools......I agree completely! This movie is priceless! ..one of the BEST....and I have seen it at least 4 times, liking it more with each viewing! It is brimming with beautiful meanings throughout.....moving and meaningful.....especially to anyone with a FAMILY like the Bride's!!

UP+++

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