My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Directed by: Joel Zwick
(Nia Vardalos, Gia Carides, John Corbett, Joey Fatone, Andrea Martin)
“Can I have a hug?”
As an affectionate person, these words are always music to my ears. When uttered by the man I’ve had a raging crush on for ten years, I have to assume that a lifetime of telling the truth, minding my manners and flossing every night has finally paid off.
John Corbett. Hugged me. And you know what? He’s even hotter in person.
For those of you who didn’t fall madly and profoundly in love with him as Chris Stevens, Northern Exposure’s philosophizing, ex-con DJ, you might know him as Aidan Shaw, Sarah Jessica Parker’s down-to-earth love interest on Sex and the City. Now he stars opposite Greek comedienne Nia Vardalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the screen adaptation of Vardalos’ autobiographical one-woman show.
In a sunny corner of the Marquette Hotel lobby, Corbett and Vardalos sat down with me to talk about pretty much everything but their movie.
“There’s a lot of freaks, weirdos, ho-jos and ne’er-do-wells out there,” Corbett warned me up front. “This town’s okay, but Houston’s full of ’em.”
Neglecting to define “ho-jo,” Corbett went on to explain how he got involved with the project: “I read this script and thought, ‘man, this is gonna be good.’ And we had a great time doing it. Movies are just as fun as you make them.”
The film, based on Vardalos’ experience marrying outside her cultural group, follows Toula Portokalos as she navigates the familial pressures of being 30, Greek and unmarried. Corbett plays Ian Miller, a high-school teacher who is definitely, positively not Greek. The couple struggles tirelessly with the Greek/WASP clash until finally planning and executing -you guessed it – a big fat Greek wedding. The film is a rare delight, especially hilarious in its treatment of the Greek family unit. The details are what make it so funny, like Toula’s father’s devotion to Windex as a home remedy. Vardalos said her own father swore Windex could cure “everything from obesity to crow’s feet.”
“The more bizarre the tidbit is, the more likely it is to be true,” she said.
After wondering aloud whether Windex would work on genital warts, Corbett slipped into Chris Stevens mode and waxed philosophical on bathroom etiquette.
“If you think about it, your hands are dirtier than your ass,” he said. “So why would you want to touch your wiener with your dirty hands? What you should do is wash your hands before you go to the bathroom.”
“You know, he’s right,” Vardalos agreed.
Wrapping up the interview, Corbett and Vardalos had some advice to pass along to college students.
Corbett: “Get your shit together and stop wasting your money on school.
You need that money to party.”
Vardalos: “Have as much sex as you can now cause someday you’ll be married.”
Corbett: “And if you see us getting smaller, we’re leaving.”
Then we told some dirty jokes and Corbett called me “sweetie.” That was right before he hugged me. Or did I already mention that part?
– Lora Barstad
My Big Fat Greek Weding opens this Friday.