Why did My Big Fat Greek Wedding do so well? It sucked eggs!

I finally got around to seeing this on DVD, and didn’t this movie break all sorts of box office records?


It was so bad it was almost unwatchable!

Am I missing something here???


True, it has no real conflict, and was very overhyped. But it did well because there were a number of people who went to see it simply based on word of mouth from a contingent of viewers who wanted to see something light and fluffy, without any swearing, sex, violence–or conflict.

But that’s just my theory.

It’s easy. You don’t have to think, you get a few chuckles, you leave feeling good about everything. The world is a dark, scary place (getting more so every day) and it’s a pleasant escape.

I loathed the film, but I’m bitter (that’s why I was told I didn’t like it anyway).

I went to see it with Shayna and Spiny Norman. We all agreed it was funny and enjoyable. I worked on a short film with a Greek director. She filled me in (a little) on Greek culture. Seeing on film what she had told me about years before was funny to me.

Great airline flick. some of my good buddies growing up were greek, and the movie seemed quite familiar.

I didn’t even have a few chuckles!

Maybe one little “heh.”

I’m all for light comedies that leave you feeling good…as long as they’re actually FUNNY! Like Legally Blonde.

I think vivalostwages is right. This movie did well only because of a fluke. I still don’t get who was actually recommending this movie to their friends. I know if I had seen it at the theater, I would’ve told my friends to stay the hell away!

I think many people (not just Greeks) saw themselves and their families in the movie. It resonated with them in ways that (for example) Legally Blonde could not.

Maybe people were getting tired of overhyped Hollywood specials effects masturbathons with sky-high budgets?

It could happen.

My friend Dino’s mother (Cia) did not even take the plastic slip covers off the sofas for his wedding. We cannot go into their home without her feeding us. She makes her own yogurt.

Our neighbors (Spiros and Olympia) have often roasted goats on spits in their yard. They decorate like a diner. Olympia’s sister Vula s exactly like Andrea Martin’s namesake character, only larger.

The Wife and I almost fell out of our seats when we heard “I come to this country…” on screen. We loved the movie.

I guess it was popular with old farts like us.

I can absolutely appreciate that…if it was done WELL!

Moonstruck resonated with a lot of people and that was actually funny and well acted.

I thought it was funny, but then I come from a Greek family…

I have Greek friends, and I got it, but it just wasn’t funny to me…

I really can’t believe people actually thought this was a good film.

Ah, well…each to their own, I guess.

You know, I had trouble getting into Spider-Man, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad movie.

It was a bad film regardless of my opinion.

I just saw it tonight.
It’s not a bad little flick.
It’s not as corny as it COULD have been, you’ve got to admit.

If you didn’t find it funny, then you didn’t get it.

A lot of its success is total, dumb luck of timing: it was released in late spring as schools were closing, which is when Hollywood starts with the chock-a-block action flicks geared to young man. Spiderman, MIB II, that sort of thing, for months. This was an alternative.

It got huge word of mouth here in New York, I suspect because New York is filled with a lot of people who, although not necessarily Greek, are “ethnics” - Jews, Italians, Russians, Cubans, whatever - who see a lot of the same issues come up in their own lives. And of course, with New York as a media capital those opnions get amplified a bit more. A lot of the folks I know who liked it admitted that it was pretty formulaic, but said who cares? It was really fun you could take your gramma to it without feeling embarrassed.

I haven’t seen the flick myself. Billdo and I were going to go - Billdo was yielding to pressure from everyone he knew, and I was somewhat reluctantly taggling along - but when we got to the theatre the showing was cancelled. Whew. So we saw the Bond flick instead. Totally stupid, but stuff blew up with satisfying frequency and force - and that redeems anything.

I definitely get it, I didn’t find it funny.

It had great marketing. They were able to place the ads right, get the trailer played where it needed to be played and had their in-theatre displays in the right lobbies. This is enough for a maket like NYC and LA. From there it kind of became a road show.

OH and


So it was a great bit of ‘counter-programing’ and they were really smart NOT to blow it out. With a film like Spiderman the idea is to never have a sold out show unless there is another starting 15 seconds later. That’s why it comes out on 5 screens at 4000 locations. MBFGW was only on one screen. Tell the people that it’s sold out and they have to come back tomorrow or next week. That worked for this movie.

Look at Maid in Manhattan, Two Weeks Notice, Just Married, How to Lose a Guy. A halfway decent romantic comedy will do well. MBFGW was a halfway decent romantic comedy and guess what? Women and Older people like to go to the movies but they don’t like MiB2 or Spiderman. What with the swinging and the jumping and the scary bugs and I don’t know what! So they go to this sort of film. After a while it became almost a Emperors New Clothes kind of film. Nobody reviewer would go out and say ‘It’s ok’ so as it entered each new market it grew and grew.

So to sum up

Great Marketing
Great Release strategy
Appealed strongly to a market demographic of which you not a member.

That I will definitely agree with, Zebra.

Even if MBFGW was a moderately funny movie (which, in my opinion, it was not), it had no business breaking box office records.

Timing and marketing were obviously key.

I am not old. I am not greek. I recommended this film to all kinds of people who were looking for light comedy that would give them a couple hours break from real life. No it wasn’t “great cinema”, yeah, it was full of cliches, stereotypes and old jokes. I laughed my ass off.

And Lola, I haven’t tried to watch Moonstruck in more than ten years, but I’ve never got what was “good” or “funny” about it. So there! :wink: