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

Y’know, I just recently rewatched Moonstruck and I was struck <—(heh) by how well that movie’s held up after all these years. It’s got great talent and it’s funny!

Well, let’s just say I won’t be going to comedies with most of the people in this thread anytime soon. :smiley:

Well, who asked you to? :stuck_out_tongue:

my cousins and i thought it was very funny. we are othodox and found much humour in it. when we went the entire theatr was laughing. my aunt couldn’t understand what we saw in it, she just found only one part funny. the people who were in the theatr with my aunt didn’t laugh much as well.

perhaps it is all in the mood?

i find steven seagal movies highly amusing… other times i don’t even look up. it depends on my mood.

FYI, it’s still making more then one million dollars a weekend.

I loved it!
But then again, I’m half Greek. Lot of ethnic resonance there.
FWIW, Moonstruck is one of my favorite movies.
I’m not Italian, but again, the ethnic resonance is there.

I see it as a feel-good romantic comedy! :slight_smile:

I liked it, although I was surprised at how well it did. It’s kind of rare, for one thing, to find a movie you can take the parents to without blushing too much, and have everyone enjoy it. I also appreciated that the characters looked like real people, and that when the lead makes her big transformation to being beautiful, it doesn’t include losing 30 pounds.

I’ll tell you one thing I really liked about it: They didn’t go through that tired old bit where they have some sort of stupid misunderstanding, then break up, then the guy walks around in the rain moping and the girl’s friends commiserate over what a bastard he is and all the time you just know that they’re perfect for each other and then they get together again by some fluke and never part.

Gag. Every darned “romantic comedy” ever made is like that. I am so sick of that plot that I don’t care if I never see another movie like that.
They just fell in love and got married. No contrived Screenwriting 101 phoney conflict fill-in-the-blanks script. They just fell in love and got married.

There’s a lovely simplicity to that.

I spent two hours laughing. I thought it was hilarious.

Different strokes.

(Moonstruck is a far better movie - better written - better actors - better plot - better directed and edited - but it didn’t make me laugh as much)

I thought MBFGW was cute, and fairly amusing. Not a masterpiece, or even uproariously funny, but generally good fun.
So, I can certainly explain why iut became a hit. What I CAN’T explain is why it became a blockbuster… but then, if I were any good at predicting that sort of thing, I’d be working in Hollywood.

I should point out something that several people seem to be missing: INITIALLY, at least, MBFGW was a small movie playing in limited release. It was perceived as a little, heartfelt, independent film (even if it DID have Tom Hanks’ wife backing it). And that was part of the perceived charm. People who saw it early on, before it became a hit, thought “Wow, I’ve discovered a gem of a little film that nobody else knows about.” And it always feels good to be the first to “discover” something. That may be why the people who liked this film felt a need to spread the world, and to tell girlfriends, “You have to see this movie!”

Moreover, when people see an unheralded film with a no-name cast, they tend to grade it on a curve. If a much-hyped romantic comedy with Meg Ryan turns out to be just so-so, people walk out disappointed. They say, “It was cute, and it had a few laughs, but it wasn’t anything special. I give it a C, tops.” On the other hand, when people see a NON-hyped film, for which they have no expectations, if it’s just so-so, people walk out happy! They say, “well, it wasn’t a classic, but it was cute and it had a few good laughs- I give it a B+, maybe an A-”

My theory: people who saw it in its first two months of release love it. People who’ve seen it in the LAST two months, however, have heard all about this film. They KNOW it’s made $200 million, and they expected something great. THOSE folks are scratching their heads and wondering "What’s so great about it? "

One other theory: when couples go to the movies, they often play the game of “If you let me pick this one, we’ll go to whatever YOU want to see next time.” So, romantic comedies are often “payback” from a woman who sat through “Spiderman” for her boyfriend/husband. I know first-hand: my wife sat stoically through “The Two Towers” for me, then warned me “You owe me ‘Two Weeks Notice’ AND ‘Maid in Manhattan’ for that, pal!”

I’d bet that MBFGW was a “revenge” film for a lot of wives and girlfriends last summer!

Hmmm. This could explain why I’m neither a wife nor a girlfriend.

I went to this film with much lower expectations - it was one I had to be dragged to. Entertainment Weekly gave it “D”, so pretty much thought it was gonna stink. It was enjoyable because my expectations were very low. And I can count on my one hand the number of “Chick Flicks” I’ve seen.
BTW, for many ladies I know, a “chick flick” would be tTT 'cause it has a lot of male hotties in it. And the mushy parts were for hitting the bathroom. I hate mushy love stories, ‘pretty woman’ crap, date-breakup-reconcile in end, disease flicks, doomed love (seen ‘Titanic’ 0 times), woman outwits dumb man movies.
Give me Spiderman, Matrix, LOTR. Whoo-hoo!

Well, I enjoy the big bang movies, but also really enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Even though I’m not Greek, a lot of the situations (big extended family, culture that’s not exactly accomodating of dating and tentative about outmarriage, the iron-willed women who really run the show, lots and lots of food) were situations close to my own experience as a child of not-Greek immigrants. It had a ring of truth. And I saw it with my half-Sicilian girlfriend and a Jewish friend (hi Eva Luna!), both of whom also enjoyed it, for similar reasons. It just felt familiar. With very few modifications, it could have been called My Big Fat Italian Wedding, My Big Fat Jewish Wedding, My Big Fat Indian Wedding, etc. And that was part of its charm, IMHO.

One other thought that occurred to me after I hit the post button - it was also nice to see a romantic comedy with a female lead who was not the traditional screen beauty. Nia Vardalos, after cleaning up, was attractive, but not a stunner, and certainly not a waif. It’s kind of hard to feel a deep connection to the romantic woes of the stunningly beautiful women that typically populate this genre (e.g. Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan). I mean, a woman who looks like Reese Witherspoon or Meg Ryan generally will have no problem attracting men, so we’re supposed to somehow feel some connection to them because all they attract are losers until Mr. Perfect shows up. Deep in our hearts, however, we know that the rule of large numbers eventually favors her finding her “perfect match,” which the film duly delivers for us. For someone who doesn’t fit into the standard stereotype of beauty, the struggle can be just as much to attract someone in the first place as finding the right one. So, it was nice to see the normal looking girl end up happy at the end. I think a lot more women (who don’t look like Meg Ryan) could feel a connection to Toula than to other romantic comedy leading ladies.

I recently quit my video store managing job after 6 years. The store is in a nice San Francisco neighborhood. I base this post on personal experience with other movies, NOT “My BFGW”.

[generalize] The vast majority of people who like this movie (not all) are white middle-aged hausfraus in love with the idea of traditional marriage / wedding ceremonies. They are dying to relive their own big fat wedding, which was the last time they were happy, possibly excepting the birth of their child(ren). They’re the same people who clamored for “Monsoon Wedding” and “Big Night,” which is another celebration of deferred ecstasy - eating. NOT that these were bad movies - both were significantly better than “My BFGW.” They’re blinded to the flaws by the spectacle, much as were people who liked “Armageddon” and “Gone in Sixty Seconds.”[/generalize]


I saw Monsoon Wedding and MBFGW the same weekend. Thought Monsoon was much better, characters had more depth, and their questions didn’t have easy answers.

MBFGW was light and fluffy, and an OK way to spend a couple hours. I think its popularity comes from the fact that it probably could be rated G if they edited the bedroom scene, and it was a change from special effects, sex, violence, drugs and rock n’roll. Or even if someone likes the usual run of movies, they need this one for when Grandma is visiting from out of town.


I enjoyed MBFGW. Funny, nice, bland, old-fashioned, etc. I did see it with my parents and a theaterful of similar groups. A good time was had by all.

I di like the way it tweaked some of the normal romantic comedy traits. I liked that they simply fell in love and got married. I liked that the source of conflict was not them but their families. I liked that while both families were carichatures, they were both full of redeeming qualities.

In fact, this wasn’t a romantic comedy, it was essentially two fish out of water comedies that were intercut. I enjoyed it.

See, now I LOVED Monsoon Wedding!

Go fig!

I can honestly say I am shocked that so many people thought MBFGW was great, and I like to think I have pretty decent taste in movies…

Well, I guess you all are the reason it did so well…

I’m wondering if the folks on this thread thought Ishtar was a masterpiece, too. Heh - juuuuus’ kidding! :wink:

That’s one of the most wonderful things about movies, to me. I love to watch a movie I hate with someone who loves it, it makes it a whole different experience.

I am sure there are those that think Ishtar was a great film. I am not among them, but for some reason the fact that they must exist, somewhere, is pretty cool to me.

This may not go over well, but …

People are taking their personal observations and their derived opinions WAY too seriously.

If you didn’t enjoy a movie, it’s not necessarily because you discovered some obvious, fundamental flaws that everyone would obviously agree on. It might just be you.

There are people in this thread making excuse after excuse why people went and saw MBFGW, without even being able to fathom that (gasp!) lots of people actually enjoyed the movie! Oh no, it had to be “revenge” for going to see Spiderman, or taking out Grandma, or lonely housewives (with derision!).


What’s the definition of “decent taste in movies”?

Isn’t it obvious? Whatever she likes. All other movies, or the people that like them, are suspect. :stuck_out_tongue: