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MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

[My Big Fat greek Wedding] Toula (Nia Vardalos), a near-spinster repressed by her family's traditionalism, undergoes an ugly-duckling transformation and lands Ian (a generic John Corbett from Sex in the City), the man of her dreams. The hitch is, he's not Greek. It all begins tediously, and the two lovebirds don't kindle many romantic sparks; instead, we get bawdy high jinks from Toula's family, a loud, boisterous lot oversold on the importance of lamb (Ian's a vegetarian) and being Greek -- they own a restaurant called Dancing Zorba's, and their gaudy ethnocentric décor is an ongoing sight gag. The event of the title is a mere sidecar; it's the ouzo-soaked meet-and-greet with Ian's white-bread parents and Toula's father (Michael Constantine) that provides the guffaw-garnering kicks.

Written by Vardalos (of Second City notoriety) from her stage play and directed by Joel Zwick, Wedding hangs too much on the Greek stereotype -- it's a one-note comedy that seems better suited to TV. Vardalos is amicable and sincere, but without the assembly of mutton-munching caricatures (including Joey Fatone from 'N Sync), this romantic-comedy would be hard pressed to fill a wedding gown. At the Avon and Jane Pickens.

By Tom Meek

Issue Date: June 7 - 13, 2002