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The film’s writer and star, Nia Vardalos, clearly knows her stuff about being a Greek American woman, not to mention the joys and exasperations of having a family who have some outdated expectations.
Her character Toula doesn’t waste any time in telling us that a Greek woman is put upon this earth for three purposes: to marry a Greek man, to have Greek children, and to feed everyone until the day she dies. Unsurprisingly, the chaos that is caused by her meeting and falling for the spectacularly non-Greek Ian Miller is both entertaining and relatable on many levels for those who come from big, eccentric families.
Perhaps you rejoiced in a love story where both characters were totally into each other and portrayed by realistic-looking actors (John Corbett’s hair distractingly resembles that of John Travolta in ‘Pulp Fiction’). If you get a kick out of chaotic and fun wedding comedies, you’ll enjoy these other films like ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’.
This is a pretty formulaic and predictable story, but that doesn’t stop it from being heartwarming and funny. Steve Martin plays the over-protective father who’s in for a shock as his daughter returns home from a semester in Europe glowing with happiness… and engaged.
The film mostly focuses on Martin’s reluctance to see his daughter as a woman and let her go. It’s an interesting film as far as family dynamics go, seeing pops gently nudged towards acceptance by his wife and more forcefully by events. And who could forget Franck Eggelhoffer? He’s the wedding planner par-excellence and provides the biggest laughs.
Poor Muriel, she just can’t catch a break, stuck in Porpoise Spit with a psychologically abusive dad and ‘friends’ who openly mock her; her only escape is to listen to Abba and daydream about getting married. However, Muriel discovers that the fantasy is a lot different from the reality.
This isn’t your average fluffy, light-hearted romantic comedy, it’s actually more like a modern Cinderella story with a realistic ending. One of the most-impersonated lines ever – “You’re terrible, Muriel!” – will go down in history.
Some of the movies similar to ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ have more of a focus on drama. Monsoon Wedding charts the hectic and emotional days leading up to a Indian arranged marriage and tensions occurring with the family. Although it is a colourful and exuberant film that brings together and celebrates the Indian diaspora, it also deals with some serious subjects.
Not all movies similar to ‘My Big fat Greek Wedding’ are based on family themes of duty or escape, some have more emphasis on friendships. The following three recommendations explore the humour around planning or attending weddings and relationships in general.
This is the ultimate go-to wedding comedy and the one that set the bar for others. Hugh Grant plays the kind of Brit that Americans like to think we are when we’re not busy being dastardly villains. The antics of his friends provide most of the comedy, though its breezy humour is offset by some very poignant moments.
Bridesmaids is the brilliant female equivalent to all those Judd Apatow buddy movies, and proves women are capable of occasional grossness and vulgarity too. Kristen Wiig desperately attempts to stay a part of her best pal’s life despite the inevitable change her friend’s marriage will bring.
Don’t forget to also have a look at these other films like ‘Bridesmaids’.
‘The Wedding Singer’ is a decidedly sappy rom-com, but it’s the perfect feel good movie if you’re after a happy ending. Plus, it has a great eighties sound track that will inspire you to go through your (or your parents’) old music collections.
There are heaps of comedies based around weddings, try ‘Made of Honor’, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, ‘Bride Wars’ (check out some great similar movies here) and ‘The Wedding Planner’. If you want a more cynical perspective on nuptials take a look at ‘American Wedding’, ‘Wedding Crashers’ (find more great similar films here) and ‘The Hangover’.
Are there any wedding comedies you recommend? Let us know in the comments!
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