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My Big Fat Greek Wedding: 10th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray Review)

28 Nov, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

$19.98 Blu-ray combo
Rated ‘PG’ for sensuality and language.
Stars Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Joey Fatone.

A couple things to keep in mind when watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the surprise box office hit from 2002: It all came about when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson saw actress Nia Vardalos doing her one-woman play Wedding in Los Angeles, loving it so much they wanted to make a movie out of it.

And it’s all true. Well, mostly.

Vardalos takes her real-life Greek family experience and puts it on the screen with constant, deadpan comedy. Vardalos plays Fotoula, a young Greek woman unhappy with her lot in life as a waitress in the family restaurant, and even more unhappy with what’s expected of her: marry a Greek boy, have lots of Greek babies, and “feed everyone until the day she dies.”

Fotoula decides to go against her family, turns herself from frumpy to fabulous, goes to college and falls in love with the decidedly non-Greek Ian (John Corbett). And when the two decide to get married, a culture clash of epic proportions ensues.

What’s great about this flick is its simplicity. There’s no break-up-get-back-together, nobody’s left at the altar, nothing of the old standbys you see in so many romantic comedies. My Big Fat Greek Wedding relies completely on Fotoula’s unintentionally funny parents, siblings and about 30 cousins (that’s just first cousins), all of whom are so proud of their Greek heritage they don’t seem to realize how odd everyone else considers them.

Nearly the entire movie is comprised of little, wonderful moments. “It’s a bundt!” “Lambs in the kitchen, lions in the bedroom.” A hurricane of Greek women in one room. The disparate sizes for the his and her sides of the aisle at the wedding. And have a drink every time you hear “opa!”

The script was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and it’s the script that keeps this film a pleasant surprise a decade after its release.

The main bonus feature here is a 30-minute retrospective about the film, with Vardalos hilariously recounting the origins and filming of the movie. She spends a great chunk of time with Corbett next to her, recounting their favorite scenes. Part of it plays like a gag reel, part of it is a look at the publicity surrounding the theatrical release, but the best parts see Vardalos recounting just how much of the film is steeped in her real-life story and relatives.

There are also a smattering of deleted scenes, as well a commentary with Vardalos, Corbett and director Joel Zwick. HBO also includes a DVD of the film, as well as digital and UltraViolet copies.

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