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My Big Fat Greek Wedding

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett
Director: Joel Zwick
Rated: PG
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: April 2002
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Andrea Martin, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Gia Carides, Louis Mandylor, Joey Fatone

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

"My family is big and loud, but they're my family, and they'll always be there," Toula Portokalos concludes with pride in Joel Zwick's MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. And so is the movie, a sweetheart of a film that is something like a Greek MOONSTRUCK. The autobiographical story is written with considerable love by Nia Vardalos, who stars as Toula, a nerdy, slightly pudgy 30-year-old woman who initially looks to be in her mid-40s.

When we first meet Toula, she is a bespectacled waitress at her family's Greek restaurant, "Dancing Zorba." A fatalistic spinster, she reflects in voice-over, "I wish I had another life, but it's useless to dream because nothing ever changes."

But after a makeover, including contacts, brighter lipstick and more fashionable clothing, Toula becomes more optimistic. In most films, she would be transformed into a glamorous cover girl with a hidden slender body, but not in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, which unabashedly reveres the beauty of a full-figured woman. When Toula falls for a Heath Ledger look-a-like, Ian Miller (John Corbett), while at her new job at a Greek travel agency, she becomes downright moonstruck.

The funny movie has few subtle moments, but it is such a charmer that you'll never care. Veteran actors Lainie Kazan and Michael Constantine play Toula's protective parents, Maria and Gus. Gus, who is sincere in his demand that Ian ask permission to date his grown daughter, refuses to give his okay because Ian isn't Greek. His recurring advice to his daughter is, "Get married. Make babies," since "You look so old." Not only is he serious, he doesn't even realize how out of touch his recommendation is.

Beautifully shot and scored, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING is a treat for more than just your funny bone. It is an entertaining and good-spirited romance that celebrates the marvelous possibilities of life. Don't be surprised if you find yourself dancing out of the theater.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING runs 1:35. It is rated PG for "sensuality and language" and would be acceptable for kids of all ages.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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