A Remake Chronicles Extra by Adam-Troy Castro
When Judi and I were preparing for our own wedding, we were assured by everybody, EVERYBODY, that we *needed* to see MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. It was not just painted as a must-see, it was painted as the most …universal, most heartwarming, most resonant movie about a wedding ever. (To people who, I guess, had not seen the original FATHER OF THE BRIDE.)
I was told this by my parents. I was told this by my sister. I was told this by my friends. I was told this by my co-workers. Judi heard it from her own family. She heard it from her co-workers.
We missed the film in the theatres, thus increasing the pressure, and then with one thing or another took months to rent a copy on DVD. And we finally did.
Half an hour into the movie, we looked at each other and asked, mutually, “Have you laughed yet?”
The two of us found the entire enterprise so empty, so banal, that we were deeply, deeply embarrassed for it. It wasn’t that it failed to resonate with our current experiences; it was that it failed to resonate with them at any level deeper than the most superficial observations by the most tiresome distant aunt. There was not a single element in the love story that failed to function at any level other than wish fulfillment and not a single element regarding the wedding that failed to transcend the banal. At the time, I was downright depressed that audiences had embraced it with such excessive enthusiasm; together with LEGALLY BLONDE, another movie that everybody told us we *had* to see, and that struck us both as deeply empty, it kind of proved to me that the majority of people prefer movies that wash over them like background music, without challenging them or altering them at all.
(And my future wife’s negative reaction to both films served as further proof that we were right for one another.)
In the end, it contributed to our lives only in that our reception’s lightly science-fictional theme got the day dubbed Our Big Fat Geek Wedding.
So yeah, that’s my advance reaction to this summer’s Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie, LARRY CROWNE. Hanks as writer is an unknown quantity to me, but I am not rushing out to see anything written by Nia Vardalos.