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  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002): **½

    Directed by Joel Zwick

    Wow, I really don't see what the hype was all about. Not that I had very big expectatoins about loving this movie going in (it isn't exactly my favorite genre or anything), but I just don't see why it took off quite the way it did. It is really nothing very special, and in fact has some huge problems that I couldn't overlook.

    It is pretty funny at times, though. The characters are all pretty strong and ther are some good interactoin bits here and there. There's a really good scene where the Greek father is introducing his family, and 90% of them all have the same first name. Whenever you get this many strong characters together and have them go at it, then there's bound to be some good comedic sparking, and the film doesn't really disappoint in this respect. There's nothing terribly new or innovative about the comedy, but it is pretty funny.

    But I had a real problem with the way the hubby and his family were presented. It just was not in the least bit interesting. The Greek family is of course on fire with culture and personality, but the hubby has absolutely NO culture whatsoever. The Greek dad even makes the comment that he can't relate to them because they're like "dry toast." I had the same problem. Wouldn't it have been a lot more interesting to have two strong cultures clashing at each other instead of one strong culture and then two people sitting around looking nervous and confused. It just was not very interesting.

    The other major, MAJOR problem I had (and this is inexcusable) is that the whole film is kind of building towards the wedding. All this wackiness is happening like in a usual wedding movie, and then you know that it's all going to come to a head with an unstoppable hurricane of craziness at the wedding and it's all going to go nuts but that somehow it's also all going to come together even more perfectly than if everything was seemingly "perfect" with the family. Right? We've all seen that formula, and it works. But in this film they're building and building and building towards the wedding, and then the wedding happens. Without a hitch. No wackiness, no misunderstandings or Jerry Lewis-esque slapstick even. Imagine reading a 500-page novel about a knight going to slay a dragon, and the journey there is all detailed and compelling and fascinating, and then when you get to the last chapter, where he finally confronts the dragon, and it reads:

    Chapter 24:

    The knight killed the dragon, married the princess, and lived happily ever after.

    Sure, that's what you want to happen, but dammit, it should at least be interesting!

    -Christopher Grant Harris

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