(us) wrote: One of the better "gay" films, though it was still a bit of a cliche-fest. Bucatinsky (who also produced and went on to win an Emmy for "Scandal" in 2013) is very good as Eli. Ruccolo plays Tom, a raging cliche, but he's good in the part. Adam Goldberg is, well, Adam Goldberg - he's the same in every movie. Sasha Alexander is very funny. Cameos from Doris Roberts and Lisa Kudrow are fun. Great soundtrack. Cute, but not much more than that.
(ag) wrote: In the spring of 2002, I went to see a romantic comedy about which I had heard very little. The movie's lack of advertising made it seem like it wasn't a very big deal and its focus on an ethnic heritage that was not my own made me think that I might have trouble relating to the story. I couldn't have been more wrong. Before the opening credits were over, I decided that I would buy the movie's DVD when it came out. The reason that I'm relating my personal experience seeing this particular film is that I believe it matches the experiences of many other Movie Fans who saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (PG, 1:35). The film originated as a one-woman stage show in which actress and Second City alum Nia Vardalos entertained audiences with her take on growing up in a Greek family and then marrying a non-Greek. Actress Rita Wilson saw the play and suggested that her husband, Tom Hanks, create a film version through his production company, Playtone Entertainment. The result was a $5 million movie that became a sleeper hit, earning $241.4 million domestically ($368.7 million worldwide), making it the highest-grossing romantic comedy - and one of the most profitable films in box office history. Surprisingly, the film never topped an individual weekend box office, but its slow build, aided by strong word of mouth, resulted in the movie being in U.S. theaters for 52 weeks, over half of that time in wide release. Vardalos received an Oscar nomination for her screenplay and acting nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press (the Golden Globes) and the Screen Actors Guild. Unfortunately, she didn't win any of those awards, but Movie Fans won big, having been blessed with this wonderful comedic gem.Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos (Vardalos) is a single 30-year-old American born to a large, proud, loud, tightly-knit Greek family in which she feels smothered and trapped. She works as a hostess at Dancing Zorba's, the Greek Restaurant owned by her father (Michael Constantine) and mother (Lainie Kazan) in Chicago. Toula lives in an obnoxiously Greek-looking suburban home with her parents, grandmother (Bess Meisler) and younger brother, Nick (Louis Mandylor), who works as a cook at Dancing Zorba's.Toula's sassy older sister, Athena (Stavroula Logothettis) has married a Greek boy and made Greek babies, as Toula's voiceover tells us she is also expected to do, but Toula wants something more out of life. With her traditional, but sympathetic mother's help, Toula's stubborn father agrees to let her take some courses at a local college. She builds on her earlier success in high school computer classes and ends up going to work at the travel agency owned by her Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) and Uncle Taki (Gerry Mendicino). As she expands her horizons, Toula starts paying more attention to her appearance, becomes more social and gains confidence... but all that is only the beginning of her transformation.In her various jobs, Toula keeps running into tall, handsome local high school teacher, Ian Miller (John Corbett). Ian has tired of the string of ordinary women that his best friend, Mike (Ian Gomez, Vardalos' real-life husband) sets him up with, and he finds Toula to be refreshingly different. Toula keeps her budding romance a secret from her family until her meddling Cousin Nikki (Gia Carides) comes to tell her "the family knows." What follows is a series of humorous scenes in which Ian works to gain the acceptance of Toula's family, is repeatedly hazed by her brother and their Cousin Angelo (Joey Fatone), and tries to help his very reserved, upper middle class WASPy parents (Bruce Gray and Fiona Reed) to get to know Toula's extremely outgoing "very Greek" family. Of course, given this movie's title, it's obvious where the story goes from here, but this film is not about the destination. It's about the ride."My Big Fat Greek Wedding" isn't just one of the best romantic comedies of all time, it is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the best comedies of all time, period. Of course, it all starts with Vardalos' brilliantly insightful and hilarious script. After watching this movie for the Nth time to refresh my memory before writing this review, I still found myself repeatedly laughing out loud. As the script's jokes make us laugh with a combination of ethnic humor and many simply funny situations, it also makes its unusual characters and plot very relatable. Who among us can't identify with "weirdness" in our family, the search for true love and acceptance and the desire to be ourselves and make the most of our lives? But the script is only one of many elements that makes this rich Greek meal so deliciously enjoyable to so many different kinds of people. After directing several highly successful television sitcoms, like "Perfect Strangers" and "Family Matters", Joel Zwick (no relation to Edward) helms this movie with a keen eye for comedy and a sensitive feel for the characters' emotions. He mines all situations for every conceivable laugh, but never lets us lose sight of Toula's journey, which is the beating heart of the story.Vardalos had offers to make her play into a movie before Wilson and Hanks came along, but the earlier prospective producers wanted to change much of the story and didn't want to cast her in the lead role. As a Movie Fan, I'm very thankful that she stood her ground and eventually signed with Playtone. She is a very talented comic actress and her presence in the lead brings an authenticity that makes the whole thing work. Meanwhile, equally authentic and funny is the wonderful cast of supporting players who are all perfect for their roles and represent ingredients I believe are essential to the movie's overall flavor.Consider "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" to be very highly recommended by this "xeno" Movie Fan.