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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
Big fat laugh at Greek Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
John Corbett and Nia Vardalos star in the surprise hit

Families can be the best and the worst when it comes to affairs of the heart, and no more so in the surprise US box office hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The film nods to the great ugly duckling romantic comedies such as Muriel's Wedding and Strictly Ballroom, but this time it is based on a true story.

Joey Fatone
'N Sync star Joey Fatone takes a comedy turn
Written and starring Nia Vardalos as Toula Portokalos, the wallflower in a loud family, it is based on her stage play about her life and her wedding to a non-Greek.

Toula works in the family restaurant but has dreams outside of her father's desire to see her married off.

At the age of 30 her dad Gus, a fiercely proud Greek, feels time is running out for his daughter to meet a nice Greek man who will take her on, and never tires of telling Toula that she is looking old.

With such an ego-battering patriarch it is a wonder she has any spirit left, but that is one of her greatest assets and one that will take her far.

Poor Toula has never been one to catch the eye of the men, and her brown wardrobe suggests she is satisfied to let her life slide by.

But a chance sighting of the adorable Ian Miller, played by Sex and the City's John Corbett, and a college computer course sets her on her path from caterpillar to butterfly.

Toula's family are a loud, food-obsessed bunch who provide much of the comedy.

Although it is such a huge family, director Zwick quite rightly concentrates a few of the more interesting and quirky characters.

There is the sensitive mummy's boy brother Nick, played by Louis Mandylor, and "sexy" cousin Nikki, portrayed by Gia Carides, recognisable as the screeching ballroom dancer is Strictly Ballroom.

But when they all get together for the big wedding, complete with 10 pastel blue-attired bridesmaids, chaos ensues as everyone wants to get involved.

Not exactly laugh-a-minute, there are moments when it crosses the line into schmaltzy Hollywood, and for those so inclined, a couple of weepy moments.

But a thin story about love triumphing over everything has been developed into a funny, memorable film that will strike a chord with anyone who has to suffer a loud family at weddings or Christmas, or anyone who loves a happy ending.

See also:

20 Sep 02 | Entertainment
16 Sep 02 | Entertainment
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