In 2002, a small independent film was released. It had a limited release, moderate star power, and a budget of about $5 million. From there it went on to be a massive sleeper hit: it grossed $241.1 million and stands to this day as the highest grossing romantic comedy in history. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and remains a beloved favorite of countless people.
Flash forward nearly 14 years, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding is welcoming a sequel to the family. Why does this particular film hold such a powerful place in people's hearts? Here are just a few reasons people can't help but love My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Toula (Nia Vardalos) has a lot of issues with her family (hey, who doesn't?). But through all the stress and turmoil of a Greek girl falling in love with a non-Greek guy, her family remains by her side. Even with the fighting and drama that comes with a big family, she never sacrifices them—or forgets how fiercely they love her. It's a powerful message, and a loving tribute to the people you care about most, even when they drive you crazy.
Love Your Heritage
— Greek Wedding 2 (@MBFGreekWedding) March 23, 2016
As a kid, Toula has to deal with a lot of stress and embarrassment because of her proudly Greek family. But as she grows up and comes into her own, she learns what a gift she's been given. The traditions and heritage she used to shun have helped shape her into the strong, confident person she's become. They've given her a connection to the people she loves best and a rich and diverse history. My Big Fat Greek Wedding tells you to embrace your heritage proudly as just another facet of the person you are.
Toula changes throughout the course of the movie, but her transformation takes an unusual route. She doesn't alter her looks or appearance or personality to get the guy, Ian (Jon Corbett); every change she makes is for herself and no one else. Building her own self-confidence and sense of worth is what ultimately attracts the guy of her dreams, not trying to make herself fit into some cookie-cutter mold. Toula is herself, completely and unapologetically. It's why Corbett, her family, and the audience can't help but love her.
Change Is Good
But it's not always easy. Toula learns she has to change her attitude towards her family, learning to take all the good with the bad and not be so judgmental of their differences. As for Ian, he makes a lot of changes for his lady-love: keeping their relationship on the down-low until she's ready to come clean to her family, and ultimately being baptized at the Greek Orthodox Church. It's safe to say Ian never expected his life to go down that path, or that Toula imagined marrying outside her culture, or that her family expected to end up with a vegetarian son-in-law. But all these changes happen for the best and make the bonds between those involved stronger. And as for those inevitable changes that aren't so good? My Big Fat Greek Wedding proves beyond a doubt that your family will always bee there to help you and support you (whether you want them to or not).