My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Poster Image

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

(i)

 

Cute romcom has some innuendo, a little language.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: April 27, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The importance of family and a connection to traditions. Finding a balance between independence and remaining connected to your roots. 

Positive role models

Toula learns to take control of her life from her well-intentioned but meddling parents and extended family. Ian readily accepts a culture different from his own because it's the culture of his bride-to-be. 

Violence

Comedic pratfall -- a flirting man who isn't paying attention to where he's going walks into an elderly woman, falls to the ground, and is struck on the face repeatedly with a handbag. 

Sex

Lots of kissing and one mild sex scene; no nudity. Some innuendo/discussion among family members of "making babies." 

Language

"Ass," "jagoff," "bite me." The bride-to-be's Greek brother has her non-Greek groom-to-be say phrases in Greek that actually mean "I have three testicles" and "nice boobs." A 6-year-old girl asks another 6-year-old girl if the food she's eating at lunch is "moose caca." 

Consumerism

Windex is mentioned frequently.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking at parties, dinner. Characters drink ouzo at two festive events; a couple gets drunk, and the room is shown spinning from their point of view. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a crowd-pleasing culture-clash romantic comedy. There's a non-graphic sexual situation, but it's clear that Toula and Ian wait until they're really committed before sleeping together. Characters drink beer and wine, and while at a party, Ian's parents are introduced to ouzo and overindulge. Occasional profanity includes "ass," "jagoff," and "bite me," and Toula's brother teaches Ian Greek phrases such as "I have three testicles" and "nice boobs," which he tells him mean something innocuous. Positive messages include the importance of family and finding a balance between independence and remaining connected to your roots. 

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 meant to marry Greek boys, have Greek babies, and cook a lot of Greek food. In the unlikely event that they don't get married, they're expected to work in the family business -- in this case, a Greek restaurant. But Toula dreams of more, and with the help of her mother and aunt, she manages to get her dad thinking it's his idea to have her go back to school and get a different job in her aunt's travel agency. Toula starts not only to bloom but to glow, attracting the attention of Ian, a handsome teacher (Sex and the City's John Corbett).

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Viewers will fall in love with Nia Vardalos and her family, too; they're an irresistible force, and she's just plain irresistible. And the story behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding is as remarkable as the film itself. Actress/writer 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's Greek), saw the show and decided to make it into a movie with Vardalos playing herself.

Vardalos and director Joel Zwick balance the specifics of the Greek-American culture with the transcendent universalities of family dynamics, and 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're related to. This is a terrific choice for families with older tweens: 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, put the phones away, and enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cultural differences. Do you know families where the couples come from different backgrounds? How have those differences created problems or opportunities for new, blended traditions? 

  • What are some of the elements that make My Big Fat Greek Wedding a romantic comedy? How is it similar to and different from other romantic comedies? 

  • How does the movie portray Greek-American culture? Where might it have been exaggerated for the sake of comedy? Where did it seem like an accurate reflection? 

  • Once Toula receives a makeover, she's able to find a husband. Can you think of other movies in which an "ugly duckling" gets a new look and suddenly enjoys a better life? What message does that send about body image

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 19, 2002
DVD release date:February 11, 2003
Cast:John Corbett, Nia Vardalos, Andrea Martin
Director:Joel Zwick
Studio:IFC Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:a mild sexual situation and some language

This review of My Big Fat Greek Wedding was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bylivvy314 January 4, 2011

best movie ever!

i love this movie!! one of my all time favorite movies! i have probably seen it a hundred times! great movie for sleepovers or family night. it has some bad refrences but young kids wont get it so its not a big deal. its a great, funny movie! it also teaches you that no matter what culture or race you are if your in love with someone then that shouldn't stop you.
Educator and Parent Written byCommonSenseChristian January 1, 2013

A Wedding You'll RSVP to Over and Over Again

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a lighthearted romantic comedy with plenty of Greek spice. Toula provides a good example of how to buck family traditions the right way: she follows her heart, but tries not to hurt her family, apologizes when she does, and still loves and values them and their culture. The romance between her and Ian is also refreshing to watch, and Ian is a good example of how guys should treat the girls they love. Toula's huge family provides plenty of good laughs and hijinks, with quotable lines that will worm their way into your family (you'll never look at Windex the same way again). Premarital sex between Toula and Ian is heavily implied, which warrants discussion for families that don't condone this. Toula's cousin Nikki shows cleavage at every opportunity and prominently "adjusts" her breasts. A flurry of profanities mar the first scenes, and Jesus' name is abused a couple of times. Grandma indulges in a beer, and Ian's parents get drunk at a Portakolas party featuring ouzo. For these reasons, don't invite your kids to the wedding. Teens, though, should be fine.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bySwrilCD87 April 9, 2008

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