Well, 14 years later, there’s another big fat Greek wedding.
And while you’re queued in line to see the sequel – or discussing it over lamb at your favorite Greek diner – here’s a quick list of trivia facts about the original that you might not have known about.
Nia Vardalos is a Second City alum …
That would be the Chicago, Illinois, comedy group that’s produced so many Saturday Night Live cast members.
who had roles on The Drew Carey Show and Two Guys and a Girl
She also played two different characters on Boy Meets World!
And she’s got pipes
Check out Vardalos singing the Paul McCartney’s Beatles voice-shredder “Golden Slumbers” for the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams.
Her second film, My Life in Ruins, was the first American film given permission to shoot at the Acropolis
“It was a lot of dinners and hand shaking, a lot of requesting permission and really assuring them that we would leave the ruins exactly as we found them,” Vardalos told The Hollywood Reporter of the hoops she had to jump through to secure access.
MBFGW is the most profitable film of all time
Not highest-grossing, mind you. But the film grossed $369 million on a $6 million budget, a 6,150 percent return on investment, despite its limited-release opening. That’s a big enough ROI to lock it in the #1 spot, way ahead of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which grossed $793 million on a $25 million budget.
Vardalos hung up on Tom Hanks when he called her with an offer
Hanks was calling on the advice of his wife Rita Wilson, who’d seen Vardalos’s one-woman play the film draws from. Vardalos thought it was a prank call.
That’s Vardalos’s real family in the wedding scene
Everyone on the bride’s side is a real-life Vardalos.
And she got John Corbett to agree to the sequel with one phone call
She asked, “Hey, do you feel like kissing me again?” To which he answered: “Always baby.”
Vardalos’s real-life husband plays her movie husband’s friend
It’s a bit confusing: Vardalos’s real-life husband, Ian Gomez (who converted to Greek Orthodoxy when the pair married in 1993), plays movie Ian’s best friend Mike.
The hair-grabbing scene was improvised
Andrea Martin had forgotten her lines and just started playing with John Corbett’s hair. He played along until she remembered her lines. Vardalos liked the chemistry enough to print the take and use it.
There’s a That Thing You Do! reference in the film
At the reception, the song “All My Only Dreams” is playing; the song first appeared in That Thing You Do!, which was written, directed and produced by Tom Hanks, who produced MBFGW.
Catering wasn’t an issue for the production
Vardalos said that wherever the film was shot, local Greek restaurants would send over food when they learned about it.
The film’s title is spelled incorrectly in Greek
The two “e”‘s in the film’s title are stylized as the Greek letter Sigma, which is an “s,” not an “e.” To a Greek person, it would read as “My Big Fat Grssk Wedding.”
The Windex thing came from Vardalos’s dad
“In old-world Greek tradition, you don’t use the proper medicine for a corresponding ailment,” Vardalos told Entertainment Weekly in 2002. “My dad accidentally got Windex on a wart and it started to dry out, so he started using it for everything.”