My Big Fat Greek Wedding was something of a hit and miss film. You learned much about the Greek (lead) character, Toula, and her inter-family relationships. But you learned very little about her love interest, Ian. If the point of the film was to show the development of Toula from the shy woman living life for her father by waiting tables (“seating hostess”) in his restaurant to the confident, beautiful self-styled woman that Ian Miller falls in love with, then, I guess, it succeeded. Sadly, because you know so little about him and his one-dimensional parents, this film feels empty and fails to pull you in.
Reviews will tell how My Big Fat Greek Wedding makes you laugh, cry and feel. I, however, was left wanting more. The large Greek family, played with love and humour, finally come to accept non-Greek Ian into the family. Ian, however, never challenges that their acceptance requires him to turn into them. Far from celebrating diversity, the film fails to show both sides of the tale and we are forced to believe that Ian will do anything, unquestioningly for Toula. I suspect that I am trying to read too much into, what should be, a light Saturday night romantic comedy but as the film played out its story I found myself less and less engaged.
Having said all this, there were some laugh-out-loud moments and some top-class performances. Andrea Martin (Aunt Voula), Michael Constantine (Gus) and Lainie Kazan (Maria) all stood out. The performance of Nia Vardalos (Toula), who also wrote the story, is also worth mentioning as she certainly conveyed Toula’s side of the story. Unfortunately, that’s all I felt I got (Toula’s side) and it could have been so much more.