My Big Fat Greek Wedding Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Gus Portokalos (Michael Constantine) believes Greek women have three jobs: Marry a Greek man, have Greek babies, and cook Greek food until the day they die.
With this attitude, it’s no surprise his daughter Toula (Nia Vardalos) is 30 years old and still waiting tables in the family’s restaurant (which serves Greek cuisine of course). Toula would love to get married, but her frumpy features reflect her feelings of worthlessness. Then one day, Ian Miller (John Corbett), a new customer, shows up. Suddenly Toula has a reason to change her life.
Convincing her father to let her go back to school and upgrade her education, she decides to try a little harder with her appearance as well. After honing her computer skills, she lands a job in her aunt’s travel agency (which specializes in Greek destinations) where she happens to meet Ian again - only this time he sees a woman with new self-confidence. Over the upcoming weeks, their romance quickly blooms, but one problem remains - Ian isn’t Greek.
As if planning a wedding isn’t hard enough, now the couple has to convince Toula’s relatives to accept her decision and cope with only-child Ian’s parents’ inability to socialize with three-dozen or so boisterous Greeks.
This movie is so naturally funny and engaging, it’s difficult to remember you’re watching on-screen performances. Toula’s huge family is a strange lovable bunch of people you feel you already know. And, being an only child myself and having married into a large family of another religion, I can relate with the awkwardness and comedy as the “dry-as-toast” Mille’s try to integrate with the demonstrative Portokalos clan.
Unfortunately, this perfect family movie is slightly marred by two non-explicit scenes of sexual relations prior to marriage. Parents may also be concerned by some mild profanities, frequent depictions of passionate kissing, and the interfaith relationship.
Yet, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is still a great tribute to marriage, working together as a family, and learning to love others in spite of differences. Originally a limited release, this film (like Ian) has slowly gained acceptance and is on its way to become one of the biggest movies of 2002.Directed by Joel Zwick. Starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release August 2, 2002. Updated February 18, 2019
Watch the trailer for My Big Fat Greek Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding Parents' Guide
In what ways do the actors and actresses in this movie differ from many mainstream films? How do they contribute to the feel of the production?
Films often feature a frumpy actress who becomes beautiful. While Toula undergoes this process, how is it different from other movie scenarios? What did she choose to concentrate on first? What do we learn about Ian’s personality after he remembers seeing Toula at the restaurant?
Nia Vardalos, who plays Toula, wrote the script for this movie based on much of her own life story. Her husband plays Ian’s working colleague Mike, and many of her family from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada flew to Toronto to play extras in the film. No wonder it all seems so natural!
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians is a novel about widely divergent families coming together through their children. Chinese American professor, Rachel, has been raised by a single mother. Her boyfriend, Nick, takes her home to meet his family - crazy rich Singaporean blue bloods. Can the relationship work despite their different backgrounds?
Weddings bring together more than just the bride and groom. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s classic 1962 novel, Dearly Beloved tells the story of a wedding from the perspective of many of the guests and family members of the bride and groom.
Wedding mishaps are funniest in retrospect. Enjoy a laugh as brides share the funniest memories of nuptial nightmares in Tied in Knots: Funny stories from the Wedding Day by Lisa Taggart and Samantha Schoech.
For a fun look at how matches are made in another culture, head for Farahad Zama’s The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. Set in India, this novel tells the tale of Mr. Ali, who decides to set up a matchmaking business now that he has retired.
The most recent home video release of My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie is November 12, 2012. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Release Date: 13 November 2012
My Big Fat Greek Wedding releases to home video on Blu-ray (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy). Bonus extras include:
- Audio commentary with Vardalos, Corbett and director Joel Zwick (from the original DVD release)
Exclusive HD Content
- “A Look Back at My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (A 30-minute retrospective, re-uniting Vardalos and Corbett to reminisce about the making of the film)
- Deleted Scenes