After surprising almost everyone, last years independent hit My Big Fat Greek
Wedding is finally making its way to DVD. Being one of the few people that
missed out on it in theaters, I was more than curious to see this film that everyone
was calling one of the funniest they had ever seen.
Based on the comedy of Nia Vardalos, Wedding is the story of a 30-year old
Greek woman who, much to her family's dismay is still single. Toula (Vardalos)
works in the family restaurant and lives inside a shy shell, until the day that
Ian (John Corbett) makes his way into the restaurant.
Surprised by the attention he gives her; she makes an attempt to change her
life by going to college and changing the way she looks. Things go well after
overcoming her father's initial resistance. She emerges from college a changed
woman and takes a job at her Aunt's (Andrea Martin) travel agency where she
revamps the agency and takes control. Ian happens by one day and the two decide
to go on a date. As their relationship becomes more serious, Toula continues
to guard Ian against her large family and their lunacy.
Once the pair decides to get married, the family gets involved fully and there's
no escape for Ian as they deal with the fact that he's not Greek and he tries
to fit in.
The movie's funniest moments come from Ian's interactions with Toula's family
and it's a shame they only take up the last half of the film. The beginning
of the movie starts slowly and tries to establish the fact that Toula has strange
and culturally stagnant family. This is easily seen once Ian comes into the
picture and it comes across as unnecessary.
Likewise, in the beginning of the film Toula is made to look very unattractive
and it's an unrealistic look. Her makeup is too heavy and once you see her change
her looks later on, it's hard to believe she would have made herself look like
that before. A more realistic approach would have been to go with no makeup,
rather than too much.
All said and done, I have to admit I was slightly disappointed with the film.
That's understandable with all the hype it has received, as anyone that has
not seen it would likely be expecting more. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
does deliver laughs and fine performances from Vardolos and Corbett. Second
City Television alum Andrea Martin steals the spotlight every time she's on
screen as Toula's aunt.
Video: HBO Video has done an admirable job with the transfer. The disc
holds both Anamorphic 16:9 and Full-Screen 4:3 transfer. The 16:9 looks great
and has little to no problems. The print has been cleaned up nicely, with nary
a spot or grain being visible.
Audio: The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is surprisingly nice with quite
a few ambient sounds emanating from the rears. The mix is well done and they
never overpower, but the sounds of music, rain and the family give a depth to
the film that is only present when well mixed. Vocals are never hard to hear
and overall, there is nothing to complain about.
Extras: With both versions of the film on one disc, there's little space
left for any significant extras. A commentary is practically all there is-I
long ago refused to call trailers (not present) and cast bios extras. The commentary
features Vardalos, Corbett, and director Joel Zwick. Not surprisingly, Vardalos
dominates the commentary and provides non-stop entertainment, offering up more
information on her family and the film. Corbett and Zwick break in occasionally
with comments, but remain firmly in the background.
Overall: My Big Fat Greek Wedding is an entertaining and funny
film that I think didn't quite live up to they hype that I'd heard. I do think
it's worth watching and it's filled with great performances. Its success can
easily be attributed to filling a hole in the movie theater screens. It's a
strong and intelligent romantic comedy that doesn't offer up many of the cliché's
of the genre and forgoes the standard actors and actresses and offers up a few