Mankind's only alternative 26   FEB.   21  
Mankind's only alternative
Vlad's Daily Gloat - The eXile Blog
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Kino Korner October 2, 2002
 
A Big Fat Greek Lie
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 4
 
Now I felt really, really bad. Because a) I couldn't be mean to her, and b) my experiment was ruined.

I rushed her into the Radisson, bought her the promised snacks (glass of red wine and popcorn), jewed a pair of free tickets out of the ticket counter (a five minute argument that made Paige a bit uncomfortable), and hussled her into the theater.

On our way in, Paige told me that she'd wanted to see the film because she'd heard that "Tom Hanks had something to do with it."

Now normally, I would be inclined to mace anyone who said the name "Tom Hanks" and didn't include the words "stalk," "duct tape," and "power drill" in the same breath. But for Paige, movies weren't that important. Very little was at stake. Her mind was elsewhere -- pop culture and spite didn't figure big in her world.

It was clear from the very beginning that Wedding was going to be an appalling movie -- the only question was the degree of eye-toxin. It was like a sitcom, the kind of sitcom that gets raves from the critics, like "The Wonder Years" or "Friends." In fact, it is a sitcom -- Nia Vardolas, the writer and star, has already signed a massive contract with CBS to turn it into a weekly sitcom.

The sitcom-mainstream-alternative movie unfolded according to formula. The jokes were awful and cliched. Describing her quasi-eccentric Greek family, the narrator, Toula (Nia Vardalos) says, "If nagging was an Olympic sport, my Aunt Vuola would win a gold medal." A gullible outsider asks how to say something in Greek, and winds up getting tricked into saying phrases like, "I like your boobs" or "I have three testicles."

Poor Aristophanes! He must be screaming from Hades, "Don't blame me!"

The plot, characters and tension were so formulaic that there was absolutely no mystery as to how this movie would end. I rarely guess movie plots right, but with a movie title like My blah blah Greek Wedding" it was a pretty safe bet that this wasn't going to be a brutal Mike Leigh study of an American woman's loneliness and despair.

Leaving aside the sitcom formula, the first problem with this film is that the Greeks come off as total scum. They're bigoted, whiny, obsessive, fat, ugly, stupid, riddled with complexes, and neither funny nor fun to be around. The Greek grandmother calls everyone a "bloodthirsty Turk." The father always tries to tell people that Greek language is the root of all English. He tells his daughter's WASP-y boyfriend, Ian, "When my people were writing philosophy, your people were still swinging from trees." Translation: "Someone please take my ethnicity seriously!"

I don't get why small, insignificant races cling to these legends about the superiority of their ancient culture. It hasn't done much for the Iraqis, why should it for the Greeks? It's like an old, decrepit, wheelchair-bound crank grumbling to Shaquile O'Neil, "When I was your age, I was studying books in college, while you weren't even a sperm in your father's testicles." Yeah, well. So what? Now you're just an expired appliance collecting cobwebs in the care home, and Shaq is the greatest athlete on the planet. Someone should explain to former-somebody's the concept of the word "today."

Besides, who even knows if modern Greeks are even racially related to their great ancestors? And even if they are, it's like rock pigeons tracing their ancestry to the mighty Allosaur.

Ethnic family about Jews and Italians have a much higher success rate. There's a reason for that. Jews and Italians are interesting. The Greeks in this movie are boring, predictable, cheap and bigoted. The only thing "warm" they seem to do is yell "Hoo-pah!" and dance like Turks. In fact, the vicious hunchbacked old grandma, who crawls around their American suburb in her black wimple and cloak, accusing all the WASPs in their neighborhood of being "bloodthirsty Turks," looks to me an awful lot like what I imagine a Turk looks like. Are Greeks really just debased Turks in denial?

I had one Greek friend in school. His mother smothered him, and his father was a bigot. I remember him lecturing me about why I should support the apartheid regime in South Africa. He told me, in his world-weary Greek way, that when I got older I would understand why it was right to support the apartheid regime. I didn't understand it then, and still don't understand it. When I took a shower at his house once, this same father handed me a wash cloth. I never used a wash cloth, still don't. But he insisted, it wasn't a choice -- I was, after all, a dirty outsider.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Ames
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
Santekhnik
Field Guide To Moscow: Conditus Vodkibus :

The Beauty of Botched Plastic Surgery :

Nemtsov’s White Paper: Bombshell or Dud? :

Get Your Putin On! :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru