My Big Fat Greek Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 romantic comedy film written by Nia Vardalos and directed by Joel Zwick. It was the fifth highest grossing movie of 2002 in the USA, with $241,438,208. It is the highest-grossing film to never have been number 1 on the weekly North American box-office charts.
The movie is centered on Toula, an American woman of Greek descent (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the script), who falls in love with a non-Greek American (played by John Corbett). The movie also examines the protagonist's relationship with her family, with their cultural heritage and value system, which is sometimes rocky but ends with mutual appreciation.
- Nia Vardalos as Toula Portokalos
- John Corbett as Ian Miller
- Michael Constantine as Gus Portokalos
- Lainie Kazan as Maria Portokalos
- Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula
- Louis Mandylor as Nick Portokalos
- Gia Carides as Cousin Nikki
- Jayne Eastwood as Mrs. White
Location and release dates
Parts were filmed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and at Ryerson University and other locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After a February 2002 premiere, it was initially released in the USA April 19, 2002. That summer it opened in Iceland, Israel, Greece and Canada. The following fall and winter it opened in Turkey, UK, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Norway, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Egypt, Peru, Sweden, Mexico, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland (German speaking region), France, Poland, Kuwait, Estonia and Lithuania. It was finally released in South Korea in March 2003, and Japan in July 2003.
Rotten Tomatoes reports that 77% of reviewing North American film critics liked the movie, with 92 positive reviews, and 27 negative.
Martin Grove wrote,
- "Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who found 'Wedding' when it was a one-woman Nia Vardalos play in L.A. and believed in it so much that they got it made as a movie." 
My Big Fat Greek Life
The movie inspired the brief 2003 TV series My Big Fat Greek Life, with most of the major characters played by the same actors, with the exception of Steven Eckholdt replacing John Corbett as the husband. Corbett had already signed on to the TV series Lucky. He was scheduled to appear as the best friend of his replacement's character, but the show was cancelled before he appeared. The show received poor reviews from critics noting the random character entrances and serious plot "adjustments" that didn't match the movie.
The 7 episodes from the series are available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, whose TV studio division produced the show.
- Several songs for the soundtrack were written by Rick Elias, former member of the Ragamuffin band, are featured on the film's soundtrack.
- Tagline: Love is here to stay... so is her family.
- The movie makes reference to Zorba the Greek (1964), The Lost Boys (1987), Hamtaro (1990), That Thing You Do! (1996), and Meet the Parents (2000), while spoofing Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Another independent Canadian feature, Mambo italiano (2003), referenced Wedding.
- February 2006 feature Date Movie parodied Greek Wedding, as did My Big Fat Independent Movie, released the previous year. One The Price Is Right Showcase Showdown parodied the movie.
There is an actual misprint on the wedding invitation (other than the one intended by the filmmakers spelling the name of Ian's mother Harriet as Harry). The surname of Toula's family Portokalos (Πορτοκάλος) in the Greek section is misspelled as Ρορτοκάλος.
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