My Big Fat Greek Wedding
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a non-graphic sexual situation, but it is clear that Toula and Ian wait until they are really committed before going to bed together. Characters drink (Ian's parents are introduced to powerful Greek Ouzo).
What's the story?
In MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Nia Vardalos plays Toula, the shy, plain daughter of a loving but overpowering Greek family. Her family believes that Greek girls are here to marry Greek boys, have Greek babies, and cook a lot of Greek food. In the unlikely event that they do not get married, they are expected to work in the family business, in her case, a Greek restaurant. But Toula dreams of more, and with the help of her mother and her aunt, they manage to have Gus thinking that it is his idea to have her go back to school and get another job -- in her aunt's travel agency. Toula begins not just to bloom, but to glow, and attracts the attention of Ian, a handsome teacher (Sex and the City's John Corbett).
Is it any good?
The story behind this film is as remarkable as the film itself. Actress/writer Nia Vardalos created a one-woman show about her Greek family and their response when she married a man who wasn't Greek. Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson (who is Greek), saw the show and decided to make it into a movie with Nia playing herself. Viewers will fall in love with Vardalos and her family, too. The family is an irresistible force and she is just plain irresistible.
Vardalos and director Joel Zwick balance the specifics of the Greek-American culture with the transcendent universalities of family dynamics. Vardalos and Corbett have a believable sweetness with each other. The movie is riotously funny but heart-catchingly touching and it will make you want to go back and hug everyone you are related to. This is a terrific choice for families with tween-aged kids. The romance is age appropriate and the characters are great role models for how to fall in love and treat each other right. This is one movie where no surprises lurk. Just grab the popcorn, don't answer the phone, and enjoy.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about cultural differences. Do your kids know any families where the couples come from different backgrounds? How have those differences created problems or new opportunities for new, blended traditions? Why does Toula have a hard time telling her family how she feels? How does this family compare to others that you know or have seen in other movies, or to your own? Does your family have a combination of ethnic cultures, and what are some of the issues that have come up in meshing them?