I know you’re wondering, “Amanda, why do I need to care about a Big Fat movie that was popular 10 years ago? That Greek chick in it hasn’t done anything else. She’s a one-hit wonder.” I know you’re wondering this a) because I have a Magic Eight ball that told me and b) I was thinking it too until I had a delightful surprise in Overdrive one day.
Nia Vardalos wrote a book! (Taa daa…cymbals crash in the background.)
Called Instant Mom, on the surface, it’s about her struggles to adopt a child, but we also get some background on how My Big Fat Greek Wedding came to be. She talks about how her acting/writing career fit into to her new life as a mom. I didn’t realize that she had written as many films as she had. The only one I knew about was Connie and Carla – which I LOVE! It’s got drag queens and showtunes – the best combination since peanut butter and jelly. Vardalos uses her trademark sarcastic and self-deprecating voice in her writing to describe her problems, which manages to add comic relief without cheapening the situation. Her voice makes my hair curly.
I love Nia Vardalos. In an alternate universe, we’re Hollywood besties. Come along with me now as we take a voyage through the seemingly underexplored oeuvre of that Big Fat Greek Girl…in no particular order…
Filmed on location in Greece in 2009, Nia did not write this one, but she is the leading lady. It’s a cute little romcom, that’s more about group friendship than romantic love. It’s not better than my favorites, but it’s not a bad way to kill 90 minutes. Also, her husband makes a cameo as a grumpy desk clerk. Creepy…but funny.
I wasn’t really interested in this one when it came out, so I didn’t know that it was written by Vardalos. So I watched it and was pleasantly surprised. It’s funny though – I kept seeing Nia as the lead instead of Julia Roberts and I never realized how similar these two were. Larry Crowne, or Lance Corona, was a cute movie that I may have to watch again at some point. Husband alert again – he pops up as the dinner owner where Larry gets a job as a cook.
We also have an interview with Vardalos as part of The Dialogue and a playaway from Second City that includes Vardalos. The playaway is funny, although sometimes it can be hard to pick out Vardalos. But Steve Carell pops up every now and again, as does Ed Asner. The interview was a little slow in places and the Mike de Luca, the interviewer, kinda bugged me with all his interruptions, but Nia is charming and incredibly humble about her success. Her husband was not in the interview.
I hope you have enjoyed this trip through the World of Nia Vardalos. So who is this mysterious husband who keeps popping up? Vardalos has been married to Ian Gomez since 1993. When I looked up his picture – turns out he’s Ian’s (John Corbett) best friend/man in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Wait? That guy? I know right – it does explain why they are so silly together in the book, though. Something must have worked for them in the last 20 years because we keep seeing him in her movies.
Happy Greeking out…
PS I just realized that Ian is Stanley the club owner in Connie and Carla!!! Man, how did I miss that?