A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated PG for language and sensuality
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Joey Fatone.
Directed By:Joel Zwick
. Tula is a young girl from an absurd Chicago family. Her father is obsessed with his Greek heritage, and brags that he can link any word in the English language back to its Greek roots. But when Tula meets a young, suave professor named Ian Miller, Tula leaves her Greek family traditions and begins taking college courses. The new leaf she turns over also sparks a budding romance between her and the dashing young professor, Ian. But when the romance leads to marriage, she has to find a way to inform her family about her Non-Greek husband to be and Ian must prove that he can fit in with the Tula’s absurd family’s lifestyle.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is what I would call yet another overdone romantic comedy. It has a simplistic down-home plot. The same plot we have seen time and time before, unpopular girl meets cute guy, they fall in love, and then the family has to approve. Haven’t we seen this before? I know we have. Then why exactly are critics calling it the “sleeper hit of the summer?” To be honest, I’m not sure how all the buzz caught on. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good film, but lots of “good films” are made each year and go unappreciated. Just because Tom Hanks produced this, doesn’t make it an instant hit in my mind. And just because it has paid for itself tenfold already (172 million +) doesn’t mean that I am going to jump on the bandwagon and tell everyone how great this film really is.
Sure, there were enjoyable parts to the film and it had some good things going for it. One thing I liked was the fact that a film that so many people are watching isn’t drawing its crowd by casting the big names. No where did we find the likes of DeNiro, or Witherspoon or any Hollywood heroes and heroines in the credits (besides Tom Hanks, but he doesn’t count). I’d say there was one star in it, NSYNC star Joey Fatone but I don’t consider him an actor. The film stood alone without the big paycheck cast, and it relied on a simplistic yet well-written plot. No where did we have to deal with bad cameos, extremely sub-par dialogue, or even an absurd Meet the Parents style humor. My Big Fat Greek Wedding relied on natural human behavior as humor. Colorful characters such as a father who’s Greek pride can derive anyone insane, a grandmother no one can understand, and a cousin and his wife who do nothing but argue. They kept it simple, and it worked. We never had to deal with stupidity such as spray painting a cat, lie detector tests, and Robert DeNiro to make it a “good film.”
Unfortunately like I stated earlier, this is a film that has been done time and time again. This is the romantic comedy that if you had extra money you would cast Meg Ryan as the lead, make Jack Black her annoying cousin and get Hugh Grant to be the loveable professor. As a director from that point on you could just walk away and let the cameras roll. Why say that do you ask? Simply stated, it’s done before, you don’t need a script for this type of film, everyone just follows along like a dog on a leash because we all know the outcome. I could carry on, and point out things about the acting, but instead of going into an in depth analysis of each of the actors, I decided it would be much easier to sum it up in this way, I was impressed with the cast of the film overall. Each of them played out their roles impressively (including Fatone, even though I don’t want to admit it). However, I think the acting impressed me because I didn’t know the actors. Had they had been big names, I would have trashed on them a mediocre job, it’s funny how that works.
So is My Big Fat Greek Wedding worth all that hype? Of course not and few films in the world are. Sure, it’s a good film, but must I say it again, it’s been done before. We’ve seen it time and time again and just once I want to see something new from a romantic comedy. I’m not going to tell you to follow the lemming like crowds to box offices and support this film, but I am not encouraging you to run away from it screaming either. My final verdict on this one is split. My Big Fat Greek Wedding can be seen as a Big Fat Pile of Crap or A Big Fat Feel Good Flick. My gut tells me to embrace the feel-good fun and enjoy, but all in all it’s just a cutesy flick that’s way over hyped.