My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding - Stephenie Lai Friday, April 29,...

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Stephenie Lai Friday, April 29, 2011 SOCI 4610 Modzelewski My Big Fat Greek Wedding Summary My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a romantic comedy released in the summer of 2002 and is about 95 minutes in length. Nia Vardalos plays Toula Portokalos and John Corbett plays Ian Miller, the two main characters in the movie. The film is set in Chicago and centers on a very traditional Greek family complete with brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a lot of cousins. Being such a traditional Greek orthodox family, Vardalos’ character, Toula, had always been raised to be proud of her Greek heritage. As a child, Toula’s parents would make her Greek food for lunch and she would go to Greek school. The plot emphasizes that Greeks only marry other Greeks in the church. Any woman who is not married stays with the family until she finds a husband. Toula, already in her thirties, becomes anxious to have her own life. She argues with her parents to allow her to take computer courses at the local college, while still working in her family’s restaurant. Eventually, with her knowledge in computers, her aunt hires her to work in their family’s travel agency. Working alone in the travel agency, Toula is given more freedom from her parents, while also doing something she likes. While working at the travel agency, Toula meets Ian Miller, who is not Greek or religious. Their love grows quickly, hidden from Toula’s family. However, being in such a tight Lai 1
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knit Greek community, Toula’s parents find out about her secret relationship. Through many obstacles, the family works to accept someone of a different background into their family. The process of their engagement and marriage helps Toula realize the importance of her heritage and accept her Greek identity. Family Structure Being in such a large immigrant family, they take a nuclear structure. As portrayed in the film, the father, Gus, is the head of the household. In his own words when Ian tries to ask for permission to date Toula, the father mentions that he “controls” the family and will not allow Toula to date him despite her age. All of the decisions made about the business and the home are to be made by him, or so he thinks. In the movie, Toula’s mother, Maria, states that, “the man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head whichever way she wants.” Any decisions Maria wants made has to be depicted in a way so that Gus thinks it was his idea. Gus and Maria have three kids, Athena, Toula, and Nick. Athena is the oldest. She married young and had three kids like a good, Greek woman. Nick is the youngest and the only boy. Therefore, his quest for a wife is less stressed than Toula’s search for a husband. Toula, being the middle child and the younger daughter, sort of gets the short end of the stick. She is not babied like her younger brother. However, she does have that constant pressure to get married since her older sister already has her own family. The importance of extended family is emphasized in the film. Whenever there is
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding - Stephenie Lai Friday, April 29,...

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