Daily Arts Writers Jason Roberts and Niamh Slevin sat down to review “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” one of the most popular date movies of the year. The two weigh in on a battle of the sexes to determine the winner.
Predictable and cheesy …
Is it any surprise that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is the number one best-selling romantic comedy of all time? Once you begin looking at it, it becomes fairly obvious that the answer is a big fat “No.” Why? Because it contains the same elements that have made any other “Love conquers all” story a success in the past. She falls in love with him. He falls in love with her. The two overcome an obstacle in their way and everything is resolved in the end.
And as the credits roll, a large number of helpless boyfriends, dragged unwillingly to the theater by their girlfriends, gouge out their eyes.
Excuse me while I vomit.
As if the refried plot isn’t bad enough, writer/actress Nia Vardalos insisted that her insane group of Greek relatives come along for the ride. Included to generate much of the movie’s comic relief, this cast of stereotypes, er, characters, produces enough inane chatter that one would probably have more fun listening to someone run their fingernails down a blackboard. Am I missing something, or is it supposed to be funny when Toula’s father, Gus, insists on spraying every ailment of his with Windex? Or when her cousin Angelo and his sister bicker at each other every time they’re on screen?
Oh man, lemme wipe that tear out of my eye; I’m laughing way too hard here.
And that isn’t the half of it. Let me tell you about my major hang-up with this romantic comedy imposter: It’s complete and utter suspension of belief. You cannot convince me, no matter how hard you try, that Ian, Toula’s man of men, would have put up with all of the abuse from her family while never, ever, not even once, batting an eye. He has his own wedding planned for him. Toula’s cousins threaten him incessantly. He gets baptized in a freakin’ kiddie pool for God’s sake! I don’t care that this may have been a story of soul mates; no man in his right mind would have ever gotten even close to the point of being baptized in a kiddie pool! End of story.
I like movies that stretch my mind; stories of fantastic places and strange characters, so it’s not as if I can’t just suspend my sense of reality for 90 minutes. I can believe in a world filled with Hobbits and wizards, but I cannot fathom the world created in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Vardalos has created a scenario so fake that not even a stretch of the imagination does it any justice.
In the end, “Greek Wedding” is just another cookie cutter romantic comedy that was lucky enough to strike a few chords and set off a whirlwind of profits at the box office. “Greek Wedding” acts far too much like a cheesy Hallmark made-for-T.V. movie than anything else, and fails to generate any good laughs.
… but still sweet, sexy and loveable
There aren’t too many women who would actually claim romantic comedies are mind-blowing pieces of cinematic genius. Most of us freely admit they are cheesy as be damned.
At best, they are feel-good pick-me-ups reserved for the end of a hectic week or relaxed evenings with a significant other. While it may not be the “sexy thriller” of the year, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” breathes a little vitality into an already clich