What do you mean, you don't eat no meat? ... That's okay. I'll make lamb.
A review by Mike Shea Movie Rating: ( * * * · · ) DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )
I can't tell you why 94% of everyone in the world saw and loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was a solid entertaining film, but it is not the key to world peace. It succeeds by placing a less than ideal woman in the role of our main hero, and tells the tale of a wacky greek family, but besides being a fun little film, I can't say it was everything everyone seemed to think it was.
I instantly liked the movie from the minute we saw our heroine. She wasn't pretty, and for any actor to put themselves in a bad light is a sign of real guts. Hollywood is all about image. Building a bad one takes a lot of security in one's talent. You never see Nia Vardalos puts herself in a bad light, but twenty minutes later she does a new-Jan-Brady-like transformation into a beautiful swan. Luckily she's still not Hollywood which is the only thing that saves the transformation. Unfortunately, the target of her desires is a dashingly good looking heterosexual who just can't seem to find the "right girl". He's not gay, a heroine addict, a wife abuser, or dead broke so I found it hard to believe that he'd go through all the crap he goes through in order to marry our heroine and her psychotic family. He should have been uglier, fatter, or bald. That would have made it a much more realistic and probably funnier picture.
The abstract impressionist look at our heroine's family is what keeps the asses in the seats. It's often very funny if not subtle. The husband-to-be's family is a lot more interesting simply because you cannot read them at all. They're the kind of family who might be keeping a 14 year old Taiwanese boy locked up in the basement. Nothing they say is what they're thinking, and every flow of conversation just seems a little off. Toula's family, on the other hand, says exactly what they're thinking all of the time. They're not afraid to make fools of themselves, even if they were to understand that they were doing so, and go so far as to have a lamb roast on the front lawn to impress the new in-laws.
I must have screwed up when I was watching the movie because I watched it at 4x3, but from what I understand there is a 1.85 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and a Dolby Digital soundtrack. There is also a commentary track with the two lead actors and the director.
Hollywood spends a billion dollars a year trying to figure out what makes people go to movies. Tiny films like Big Fat Greek Wedding that cost about eight bucks to make and end up pulling in US deficit levels of cash are the movies that drive them crazy. From that stand point I applaud it. Hollywood is in dire need of a good ass kicking. To say that this movie is worth all of the cash people put into it is not something I can do. It's a good movie, but not a great movie.