Posted by Winnie Melda on March 7th, 2019

 My Big Fat Greek Wedding Hollywood-Style

 I have chosen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding since it talks about the issue of Marriage and Family and it’s appropriate for this course. It is a movie that highlights issues of marriage and family in the Greek Culture and how it relates or conflicts with the sub-culture of being a Greek living in Chicago, USA. The movie demonstrates and explores various sociological aspects of the American-Greek society. It tells a story of the Greek as well as an American family. Toula is the daughter of a Greek family who has fallen in love with Ian, a member of an American family and is both interested to marry each other. However, the main difference comes with their different cultural beliefs which pose much strains and difficulty to these two partners to finally tie the note. They have to struggle in making a good impression and proving to their families that they can indeed marry each other. There are various concepts applied in the processes on the cultural practices of the Hollywood style culture such as aspects of monogamy, love marriage, endogamy, homogamy, and schemas of marriage and matrilocal.

            The movie starts at the Dancing Zorba’s, the family’s restaurant owned by Tula's father. Her mother keeps reminding her that her biological clock is ticking. Based on the norms of this family women who have not been married are to work in a family business but are still considered a failure. Toula is from a family that believes in traditional collective upbringings whereby the good daughters are to marry someone from their ethnic background. Toula points out that “the three main things that every Greek woman has to do is to marry. Greek men have Greek babies and feed every person (Goetzman, Hanks and Wilson 2002).

 In the My Big Fat Greek Wedding, we learn of the cultural schemas of Tula’s family concerning marriage. The family holds strongly on the importance of marrying a person from the same tribe being able to feed members of the family by working and having children of the same culture. The family also believes that every household should be a nuclear family that cab working in a family business and feed all the members of the family who share a common culture. Toula’s father called Gus is the leader of his family business that all members of the nuclear family work. We learn that Toula was at some point wishing to leave the family’s shop to work at a cyber and pursue her dreams. However, her father was not so willing until letter when he agreed. All members of Gus family regard him as the head, and they have to ask him for permission before doing anything.

Gus also believes in endogamy through his strong believe that all his children should marry someone of the Greek culture. He is not comfortable that his daughter Toula has fallen involve with an American boy who is not conversant with the Greek culture. The whole movie also highlights the concept of Monogamy whereby marriage is regarded as a practice between a woman, and a man. The movie also highlights the concept of love marriage whereby Ian is forced to adapt the Greek Culture through first getting baptized at the Greek Orthodox Church, where they celebrate their monogamy marriage based on love. This step finally made Gus accept and bless the marriage union between Ian and his daughter.

 Also, the movie just as highlighted in the textbook regards families to be the nuclear types of family. The newlywed is then given a deed of their new home which will be their place of residence after the wedding. We get to learn that Toula and Ian relocate to the neolocal residence when they were blessed with a daughter and lived together. On the epilog, we learn that the newlyweds are living in the form of matrilocal kind of residence since the house that the couple is living is near Toula’s parent’s house (Heider, 2007).

 The movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding shoes the world views of the traditional Greek culture regarding the strong family values of the family, loudness, and food. It also relates to the Hollywood-Style Anthropology discussed in the textbooks involving concepts like monogamy, assimilation, marrying someone of one’s culture and following the traditions of Marriage practices. These practices, however, vary among cultures, but they are challenged in the modern world with some of the cultural beliefs on marriage fading out real quick.


Goetzman, G., Hanks T., Wilson R. (Producers), & Zwick, J. (Director). (2002). My Big Fat Greek Wedding [Motion picture]. United States: IFC Films.

Heider, K.G. (2007). Seeing Anthropology Cultural Anthropology through Film. Pearson Publishers. 

Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in research paper writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order from Top American Writing Services.

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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
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