My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This indestructible independent romantic comedy hardly deserves all the attention or money it's earned, but that doesn't justify the snobby derision that's accompanied its blockbuster status, either. Written by and starring Nia Vardalos (adapted from her stand-up routine), Wedding is an amiable update of the old fairy tale about the ugly duckling, in this case a geeky Greek spinster (Vardalos) who steps out and meets the WASP-y man of her dreams (Sex and the City's John Corbett). Wacky culture clashes ensue. Her family is full of overplayed stereotypes, the boyfriend's a one-dimensional Prince Charming, and the plot keeps going exactly where you expect, but the film deftly mixes slapstick, one-liners, running gags, and character-based humor for pleasantly escapist laughs. People lament that such an ordinary independent picture has captivated America, but the far bigger problem is that fart- and puke-obsessed Hollywood can't even churn out a workable mainstream comedy anymore, so the box office was left wide open. Directed by sitcom vet Joel Zwick, a perfectly appropriate choice.