Weekly Video Picks
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
A top-10 pick on the U.S. Bishops’ Office of Film & Broadcasting list for 2002, Greek Wedding has grossed more than any other independently financed film in history. Co-produced by Tom Hanks and his Greek-born wife Rita Wilson, it has built up an enthusiastic following primarily through word-of-mouth. Actress Nia Vardalos expands her one-woman stage show into a loosely structured feature film of comic sketches held together by its sure-footed tone and solid performances.
Toula Portokalos (Vardalos) has never felt completely at home in either her family's ethnic world or her contemporaries’ all-American one. Well past the age when most Greek girls marry, she falls in love with Ian Miller (John Corbett), a WASP high-school teacher. The rest of the movie chronicles their romance and the culture clash between their two different backgrounds. Writer Vardalos and director Joel Zwick choose situations and gags with such universal appeal that members of almost any ethnic group will enjoy them.
The Desert Rats (1953)
During World War II, desert warfare meant tanks — and some of the conflict's key turning points were decided by armored combat in conditions similar to what we may face in Iraq. This classic film chronicles the bravery of the 9th Australian Division in defending Tobruk in 1941. A Scottish commando, Capt. MacRoberts (Richard Burton), is put in charge of an Australian battalion that must stave off savage assaults from the legendary Field Marshal Rommel (James Mason) for 242 days while the British Army regroups in Cairo and prepares for a counterattack.
A strict disciplinarian, Mac-Roberts doesn't consider his troops up to the task. But an enlisted man (Robert Newton) turns out to have been one of MacRoberts’ favorite teachers in school and, in a series of lively, comic confrontations, he helps change his former pupil's mind.
- March 2-8, 2003