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Nia Vardalos, Gia Carides, John Corbett, Joey Fatone, Ian Gomez

Directed by: Joel Zwick
Written by: Nia Vardalos
Produced by: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Rita Wilson
Distributor: IFC Films

US: 19/04/02 UK: 20/09/02

Toula is still unmarried at 30-years-old, she works at Dancing Zorba’s, the Greek restaurant owned by her parents and smells like garlic bread. Vowing that she’d rather stab herself in the eye with a red-hot poker than work in the restaurant for the rest of her life, Toula is ready for a change. After taking a job at her aunt’s travel agency, she falls in love with Ian Miller, a high school teacher who is tall, handsome and definitely not Greek. Toula isn’t sure which will be more upsetting to her old-fashioned father, that Ian is a Xeno (foreigner) or that he’s a vegetarian. But none of it matters once he asks her to marry him. Toula knows that if he can pass muster with her crazy relatives and get baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church...their big fat Greek wedding.

Rolling Stone/Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune/LA Times
New York Post/New York Times
Hollywood Reporter/Washington Post
28 Nov/New York Times: Oscar buzz begins for surprise summer hit
USA Today 20 Sept 2002

Dave Reviews Out Loud/Ebert & Roeper

John Corbett and Nia Vardolas plan their wedding

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There's something wonderful about chaotic ethnic comedies, and this film taps straight into that vein. Toula (Vardalos) is a 30-year-old woman still living with her massively Greek parents (Kazan and Constantine) in suburban Chicago. She has always felt like a frumpy outsider, embarrassed by her family's excessive ethnic pride. Then she decides to take a college course in computers and escape from her dad's restaurant ... straight to her zany aunt's (Martin) travel agency. And her world opens up further when she falls for Ian (Corbett). Who, as everyone points out, is not remotely Greek.

This isn't a slick Hollywood movie at all, which is probably why it's so endearing. The noisy Portokalos family is a bundle of quirks, deeply irritating and yet thoroughly loveable. And each actor creates a vivid, hilarious character that rings true no matter what kind of family you come from (Martin is the scene stealer). Meanwhile, Vardalos and Corbett just get on with a genuinely charming rom-com that's sweet without ever being sentimental, always undercut with self-deprecating cynicism. Vardalos' script is packed with comedy gems and astute observation, as well as lots of smart running gags. And visually the film is a treasure trove of kitch design. The contrast between Ian's conservative parents (Reid and Gray) and the outlandish sprawl of Toula's Greek clan is conveyed with humour, warmth and insight without resorting to the usual cliches.



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