Released in 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was made on just a $5 million budget and yet it became the highest-grossing romantic comedy ever, despite never hitting the number one spot at the box office. It grossed more than $368.7 million globally, making it one of the most profitable films of all time.
Before the film was produced, it featured as a six-week, one-woman play in Los Angeles – written by Nia Vardalos who starred in the play and the subsequent film. The play caught the attention of a number of film producers and after a series of discussions, Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, agreed to produce the film which was then directed by Joel Zwick.
The film was written according to the original script, casting Vardalos as the lead character, Toula Portokalos. Actor John Corbett was approached in a bar to play alongside Vardalos as Ian Miller.
Filmed in Chicago and Toronto, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a classic rom-com movie.
The plot focuses on the life of a young Greek-American woman, Toula, who lives in Chicago and works in the family restaurant. Toula wants more from life, so eventually she gets permission from her parents to take a course at college and work in a travel agency.
Toula feels under pressure to settle down with a nice Greek man, but much to the dismay of her staunchly patriotic parents, she meets a non-Greek, non-Orthodox white American guy named Ian and slowly, she falls in love with him. Despite attempts by Toula’s parents to thwart the burgeoning relationship, the couple eventually become engaged and her parents are forced to accept the situation.
Much of the film focuses on the planning of the upcoming nuptials, where help from relatives rapidly becomes a hindrance. In particular, the quiet dinner that was planned for the respective parents to meet quickly turns into a disaster when all of the Greek side of the family rock up.
Fortunately, the wedding day goes according to plan and Toula’s parents finally welcome Ian into the family with open arms.
In an epilogue that represents their life some years later, Toula tells her daughter she can marry whoever she chooses, yet we glimpse Toula’s new life still very much encased in Greek traditions.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding enjoyed positive critical acclaim and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
The film became the inspiration for the 2003 TV series, My Big Fat Greek Life, although this didn’t achieve the same level of success. Equally, a sequel to the film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, released in 2016, received less favourable reviews than the original, which was reflected in its mediocre box office sales.
Although the pre-wedding preparations didn’t go according to plan in the film, you can ensure your celebrations get off to a cracking start with a hen party that you will remember for the rest of your life! Butlers with Bums offers an assortment of hen party packages that will put a smile on everyone’s face.