My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay, plays Toula, the thirtyish, plain-looking, overweight, single daughter of Gus and Maria Portokalos (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan). Nagged daily by her father to marry and make babies, Toula quits her job at the family restaurant to take some college courses, and goes to work at an aunt’s travel agency. The “ugly duckling” blossoms into a very attractive young woman with a new hairstyle, makeup and stylish clothes. She meets the love of her life, Ian Miller (John Corbett), who proves his love by embracing Toula’s overbearing parents and clannish Greek community. His parents are stuffy and formal; hers are garish, loud and loving. If laughter is truly the best medicine, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” should cure any minor ailments and help you forget major ones.
The courtship of Ian and Toula begins slowly because her family would not approve of her seeing a non-Greek. As their feelings for each other intensify, a sexual relationship begins, implied by the two shown briefly falling into bed as they embrace. In spite of annoying interference from the Greek family, Ian cheerfully adopts their culture and religion in spite of Toula’s willingness to elope and live far away. To fulfill Gus’s dream of his daughter marrying in their church, Ian is baptized so the marriage can be performed in the Greek Orthodox Church.
A few crudities and two regular profanities mar the dialogue, but “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has no nudity or violence. Family gatherings feature wine drinking and the couple appear drunk in one scene. Although tacitly condoned, the implied sexual relationship plays a very small part in the story. With an emphasis on strong family values and a theme of love overcoming ethnic differences, the pluses far outweigh the negatives in this delightful PG movie that celebrates family.