My Big Fat Greek Wedding



Perfect sleepover movie for tweens (and moms!).
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.

Not applicable

Lots of kissing and one mild sex scene.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink some Ouzo at two festive events -- a couple gets drunk and the room spins.

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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 19, 2002
DVD release date:February 11, 2003
Cast:Joey Fatone, John Corbett, Nia Vardalos
Director:Joel Zwick
Studio:IFC Entertainment
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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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.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySwrilCD87 April 9, 2008
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


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