However, some teenage friends have started coming over a couple of times per month to watch films of their choice from our collection; time was limited on Sunday, and the choice was 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', which I saw, for the second time, less than two years ago. I thought I might get bored, or even drop off... but found that I enjoyed it very much indeed.
The story revolves around Tula (played exceptionally well by Nia Vardalos), a Greek girl living in the United States. Her family are loud, and cheerful, and hard-working; caricatured, perhaps, and yet there's a great deal that we recognise, after living for fifteen years in Cyprus, where culture is very similar to that of Greece. Tula is expected to marry a nice Greek boy and raise Greek babies...
However, Tula is something of a geek, and does not appear to attract any boys, Greek or otherwise. She works in her father's restaurant, but is frustrated that it's a dead-end job which doesn't begin to take account of her intelligence. With her mother's help, she persuades her father to let her enrol on a computer course and then to work in the family travel agency... where she meets and falls in love with Ian (John Corbett) a quiet, all-American white English teacher. He is a very nice guy indeed, but absolutely not what her parents were hoping for.
That, basically, is the story. A young girl's bid for independence, and breaking out of the family expectations and stereotypes. Of course it pokes fun at Greek culture; it also pokes fun at American culture (Ian's parents are unbelievably naive, and don't appear to know about anything beyond US borders). Tula's father Gus (Michael Constantine - a Greek American by nationality) is absolutely brilliant in his exaggerated control of his family, his desire for tradition, yet with a deep love for all his family. There are echoes of 'Fiddler on the Roof' in the story, as well as some very funny moments, no less amusing for knowing that they were coming.
All in all, I'd recommend it highly to teenagers and adults, particularly anyone who knows anything about Greek and American culture.
Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews