Save the Cat! Analysis Series: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

save the cat 10

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, many of whom were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work.

If you’re not familiar with it, the book delivered a structural screenwriting roadmap: not quite a full-blown join-the-dots guidebook, but in some ways, close.

With fully 15 story beats to hit over 90-120 pages Save the Cat gave writers both a well-lit pathway through those dark narrative woods and a way to quickly filter out the stories worth developing to full screenplay stage.

But how well do the theories hold up?

In Blake’s 2nd book, Save the Cat Goes to The Movies, he attempted to firm up and solidify his thesis, by analyzing various classic films.

And whilst this analysis proved for the most part effective, the doubters (largely, let’s face it, from the independent-slash-art-house sector of the industry) remain…

So whilst Snyder’s greatest gift to screenwriters probably remains the pithy maxim “give me the same, just different”, here at Industrial Scripts we thought we’d really stress-test the theories, against a range of films of varying quality.

“The pithy ‘give me the same just different’ remains Snyder’s greatest gift to screenwriters…”

If you’d like to view all the articles in our Save the Cat Analysis Series please do so at the link, and simply read on for the next instalment in the series!

 

Save the Cat Analysis Series #9: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

 

FILM:                          MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)
STORY TYPE:            Buddy Love (Rom-Com Love)
ANALYSIS:                 A film of two halves as far as Snyder goes: the first 8 story beats up to the “Midpoint” moment follow the paradigm closely but then, after that, the film diverts from the structure (and it must be said, is worse off for it). The second half of this film is just too plain sailing to succeed in Snyderian fashion – the “Bad Guys Close In”, “All is Lost” and “Dark Night of the Soul” are basically MIA – and this represents pretty weak storytelling, on reflection. There simply aren’t any significant hurdles for the heroine to negotiate by this point. A film that expertly introduces an empathetic protagonist, though, and succeeds on sheer warmth alone. Interesting to note that this film contains elements of 3 of Snyder’s story types – “Institutionalised”, “Buddy Love” and “Fool Triumphant” – and this may also be partly responsible for the film’s success.

 

Save the Cat Analysis: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

  1. Opening Image(p. 1)
    – A rainy, miserable Chicago skyline. Although this image doesn’t connote the “tone, mood, type and scope” of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, coupled with the joyous finale, it is a perfect illustration of the Snyder argument that “the opening and final images should be opposites”.
  2. Theme Stated(p. 5)
    –  MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING is essentially a tale of conformity vs. non-conformity, as the pressure to “be Greek” (with all it entails) weighs heavily on the free-spirited hero. Whilst there isn’t one single line that explicitly describes this theme, there are several that come close in the opening 5 minutes. “Nice Greek girls are meant to do three things in life: marry nice, Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day we die”, Toula moans. In flashback, we see Gus telling his daughter: “Toula, you should be proud to be Greek” and later, when she’s older, “you better get married soon, you starting to look old”. The tension between the desires of the individual against the expectations of the family is well described in the opening minutes of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, and we’re left in little doubt as to the themes the film is looking to explore.
  3. Set-Up(p. 1 – 10)
    – Through voiceover, the writer introduces us to her family, and therefore most of the main characters in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. It’s interesting to note that Toula’s age is referred to several times in the opening 10 minutes – we’re conscious that the clock is ticking for her. “Nice Greek girls who don’t get married, work in the family restaurant, so here I am, day after day, year after year. Thirty – and way after my expiration date”. She is also shown in very downtrodden, frumpy fashion at the beginning of this film, and aesthetically at least, this certainly represents one of Snyder’s “Things that Need Fixing”. We then enjoy her physical transformation later on, having had her general “frumpiness” brought to our attention at the beginning. Certain running gags are also established here: such as Gus’ insistence on using window cleaner as an ointment, which crops up repeatedly throughout the film. Another “call-back” introduced in the first 10 minutes is the leaflet advertising the computer course – this is important later on, and is the catalyst for Toula breaking away from the shackles of her family. We’re also made aware, not necessarily of what the protagonist wantsto do, but what she doesn’t want to do in this period. “It’s like she doesn’t want to get married”, her father despairs, but this is inaccurate. We’ve been fed enough information about Toula thus far to know that she doesn’t want to lead a traditional Greek, female life (ie. “marry nice Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day we die”). Overall, the opening 10 minutes of this film match the Snyder paradigm.
  4. Catalyst(p. 12)
    – Precisely 12 minutes into MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, the catalyst moment occurs. “I wish I had a different life”, Toula tells us, “I wish was braver, or prettier or just happy…but it’s useless to dream, because nothing ever changes”. Just at that moment, the tinkle of “magical” music appears on the soundtrack, and Ian walks through the door, and as he does so, a halo-like light flashes across Toula’s face. Put bluntly, Catalyst moments don’t come much more clearly signposted than this and it appears at exactly the time Snyder argues it should – 12 minutes in.
  5. Debate (p. 12 – 25)
    – Toula is love-struck, and knows she needs to change her life if she’s to win Ian over, but can she do it? And can she persuade her family to allow her to change? This is the debate section of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, as we observe Toula a) trying to persuade her father to let her go to college, b) failing and c) persevering in this goal with the help of her mother. However she then changes very quickly (in the space of a montage sequence) into a glamourous, attractive, outgoing character. So, this section matches the Snyder structure in the sense that a question is posed (can Toula persuade her family to allowher to change?) and discussed, but not really in terms of “the last chance for the hero to say: This is crazy…should I go? Dare I go?” Toula is far more decisive than that in this section, and really the “hero changing dramatically” section typically takes longer, and appears later (often in “Fun & Games”). A partial match of the Snyder approach, then, in conclusion.
  6. Break into Act Two (p. 25)
    – 23 minutes into MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING Toula starts work at the travel agent and physically breaks away from her family at last. Precisely 25 minutes in Ian appears outside the window of Toula’s workplace, and tries to amuse her by doing a chicken walk. By 27 minutes in Ian has asked Toula out for dinner, and their romance has begun in earnest. This moment also match the Snyder beat sheet, because in choosing to go out on a date with a non-Greek, Toula is for the first time in her life disobeying her family. “The hero cannot be lured, tricked or drift into Act Two…but must make the decision herself”, writes Snyder.
  7. B Story(p. 30)
    – 32 minutes in and Ian and Toula decide to really give their romance a serious shot, and kiss for the first time. “The B story of most screenplays is the love story”, writes Snyder, so in this respect the film is in keeping with his theory. However, like many rom-coms, the love storyin MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING isn’t so much the B Story, as the main narrative itself here, as this film goes on to develop Ian and Toula’s love and marriage, and not too much else. Another partial Snyder match.
  8. Fun and Games(p. 30 – 55)
    – The “Fun and Games” in this case, consists of Toula’s family finding out about Ian, and trying to distract Toula from Ian by inviting various (unsuitable) Greek bachelors to dinner. It also involves Toula disobeying her parents’ orders to end things with Ian, so there’s an element of mischief/fun to this section, too. We also see Toula and Ian’s romance blossoming so, in this sense at least, the movie is Snyderian, answering the question: “why did I come to see this movie?” (everyone paying up to see the film would have been expecting romance and comedy, and that’s what they get in this sequence). This “Fun & Games” section is also noticeable for the first elements of real tension and drama in the film, as Gus is upset about Toula’s romance and Toula herself is upset that she’s upsetting her family. However in many ways these moments fulfil the “promise of the premise” – we need to see the conflict between individual needs and family tradition, as it’s part of the reason we came to see the MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING in the first place. Generally, a quite Snyderian “Fun and Games” section.
  9. Midpoint(p. 55)
    – 50 minutes in, and Ian gains Gus’ approval by being baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church. This is obviously a significant “up”, but as Midpoint’s go, isn’t a particularly “big” moment. It’s also difficult to know, conflict-wise, where the film can go from here though – after all, hasn’t Ian now been accepted fully into the family? This moment arguably occurs too early in the film because, after that, it’s all plain sailing. Not a Midpoint that particularly reeks of Snyder…
  10. Bad Guys Close In(p. 55 -75)
    – “The forces that are aligned against the hero, internal and external, tighten their grip” – this is Snyder’s description of Bad Guys Close In, but it doesn’t really match MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. Ok, so there’s a rather awkward meeting where Ian’s stuffy parents meet all of Toula’s giant family. But is anything really at stake here? Not really, because Ian is already used to Toula’s whacky family, and isn’t going to leave her just because his parents’ don’t approve. Ok, so Gus doesn’t like Ian’s parents and thinks that putting the two families together isn’t going to work. But, once again, we’re not worried at this moment – if Gus was going to really put his foot down, he should’ve done it earlier, but now Ian’s been baptised etc., it’s basically too late. A section of the film that doesn’t really conform to Snyder’s theory at all.
  11. All is Lost(p. 75)
    – 70 minutes in and Toula asks her mother: “is my marriage killing Dad?” Ok, Snyder might well argue that the mere mention of the word “killing” is evidence of his oft mentioned “Whiff of Death” moment. However any tension generated by this is quickly dismissed by Maria’s kind and reassuring words. On the face of it then, very little is “lost” here – in fact, after her mother’s speech about Gus wanting Toula to be happy, everything looks rosier than ever. Another section of film that contradicts Snyder’s argument.
  12. Dark Night of The Soul(p. 75 – 85)
    – The “Dark Night of The Soul” moment is Toula finding a big spot on her chin on her wedding day. Granted, this generates a little tension for all of about a minute, until one of the other women appears with some concealer make-up, and the problem is banished. This is literally about as tense as it gets for the rest of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, as we observe the wedding going off without a hitch and the couple living happily ever after. Once more, this section of film doesn’t match Snyder’s theory.
  13. Break into Act Three(p. 85)
    – The wedding itself signifies the Break Into Act Three which is a suitably “big” moment, but one that doesn’t really match Snyder’s need for the A and B stories to intertwine, because there never were separate narratives, really.
  14. Finale(p. 85 – 110)
    – Act Three of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, I suppose, consists of the wedding and dinner following it. Very little of note actually happens during this sequence, apart from Gus giving Toula and Ian a house, and finally, fully accepting him into their family. This is a symbolic and emotional moment, but doesn’t hit home as hard as it might because there’s been very little tension or conflict preceding it. Ok, so Gus “officially” accepts Ian at the end of the film, by hugging him and buying he and Toula a house, but hasn’t he basically accepted him already, by allowing him to marry his daughter in the first place? Still, for feelgood factor and tying up loose ends, as the heroine gets everything she’s always wanted, this final act does match at least some of Snyder’s requisites (not least in the fact that Ian has accepted Toula’s family, by revealing he used Windex on a spot that morning).
  15. Final Image(p. 110)
    – The happy young family, living next door to Gus and Maria and the rest of the family. Granted, the sun isn’t out, but aside from this minor quibble this is the true inverse of the opening image, and matches Snyder’s theory precisely in this respect.

SCENE-BY-SCENE BREAKDOWN: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

  1. Opening image: a rainy, miserable city skyline.
  2. Title card tells us that it’s 5am, and we’re in Chicago.
  3. We zoom in on a car waiting at the traffic lights. Inside, TOULA (Nia Vardalos) sits in the passenger seat alongside her father GUS (Michael Constatine). Toula yawns unattractively and her father says: “you better get married soon, you starting to look old”. Through voiceover, Toula explains that her father has been saying that to her since she was 15 years old. “Nice Greek girls are meant to do three things in life: marry nice, Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day we die”, she explains.
  4. Toula and Gus open their family restaurant, “Dancing Zorba’s”.
  5. Flashback to young Toula, in school. “When I was growing up, I knew I was different”, she reflects, “I so wanted to be one of the popular girls”.
  6. “Rather than going to Brownies like all the other girls, I had to go to Greek school”, she says, as we see her being taught in Greek.
  7. Toula grew up in a normal middle-class Chicago neighbourhood, although her household was fiercely Greek – even the garage had the Greek flag painted on it.
  8. Flashforward six years. Toula is 12, ATHENA her “perfect” sister is 15 and her brother NICK is 11. We see their father really shoving Greek culture down their throats.
  9. Gus drives the kids and one of their friends to school, and explains how all words derive from the Greek. Toula is very embarrassed, but as she gets out of the car her father sternly says “Toula, you should be proud to be Greek”.
  10. Flashforward another couple of years, and Gus brings his mother over from Greece to live with them.
  11. Back to the present and Toula says, “Nice Greek girls who don’t get married, work in the family restaurant, so here I am, day after day, year after year. 30 – and way after my expiration date”.
  12. Toula’s mother MARIA (Lainie Kazan) then appears along with chronic-nagger AUNT VOULA (Andrea Martin), and we also meet adult Nick, whose job it is to “cook, and marry a Greek virgin”. Maria comments on how Toula closed the restaurant the night before and is now opening it in the morning and Toula replies: “I have no life”.
  13. Cut to Aunt Voula, Gus and UNCLE TAKI (Gerry Mendicino) discussing Toula’s wedding prospects. “I tell her, I will send her to Greece to find somebody…but she won’t go…it’s like she don’t want to get married”, says her worried father. The three of them also worry about Toula’s age – is she too old now? Has she left it too late?
  14. “My sister married young, and became a Greek baby-making machine”, Toula tells us, as her nephews charge into the restaurant. Her sister is clearly very busy. Her cousins ANGELO (Joey Fatone) and NIKKI (Gia Carides) then appear, arguing furiously. We see Toula discreetly pick up a leaflet concealed in the menus and put it in her pocket (although we’re not sure what it is).
  15. Back to the table and Gus continues worrying about Toula’s marriage prospects. Her brother Nick promises his father that he’ll get married soon, but his father replies “you’ve got plenty of time”, and gives his son a hug. Uncle Taki looks on the bright side though: “you’ll always have Toula to run the restaurant”, he says, and Toula overhears this along with her mother’s comment: “Toula will never leave you”.
  16. Toula takes out the trash, and looks truly miserable. “I wish I had a different life”, she tells us, “I wish was braver, or prettier or just happy…but it’s useless to dream, because nothing ever changes”. However just as Toula says that, a striking man IAN MILLER (John Corbett) enters, and Toula is lovestruck.
  17. Ian sits down with his friend MIKE, who shows him Polaroids of a girl who he’s thinking of setting him up with. “There’ll all the same, Mike”, Ian complains. Meanwhile Toula has approached and is just standing by their table, staring intently at Ian. She is in a daze, and fills Ian’s cup with coffee even though Mike had asked for his to be filled. She just ignores Mike and wanders off. Ian and Mike leave the restaurant soon afterwards, and as they’re leaving we learn they’re both teachers…
  18. Toula comes to see her father and suggests that they get a computer, because currently they’re doing a lot of unnecessary ordering. She reminds her father that she got straight A’s in computing, and maybe she could go to college to get up to speed on things. Her father gets upset though, thinking she means to leave him. “But then maybe I could actually do something with my life”, she pleads. “Exactly, get married, make babies, you look so old”, he exclaims, before storming off. Toula starts crying but her mother comforts her, explaining that although Gus is the man and the head of the house, she can persuade him to see things differently.
  19. Later that night Maria argues with Gus, and points out to him how much she does for him. He’s still very much against Toula going to college but eventually Maria loses patience with him and storms out. Toula listens in to this conversation throughout.
  20. Her mother leaves the room looking very smug, knowing that she’s won Gus round, however. She holds Toula’s hand reassuringly, as she passes her on the landing.
  21. Montage sequence of: Toula walking out of registration at the college, looking very pleased with herself; applying makeup to her dowdy features; doing well in college; replacing her giant spectacles with contact lenses; making friends at college; and seeing an advert for a seminar on “Computers & Tourism”.
  22. We then see her and her mother go into Aunt Voula’s travel agency, and Toula pitching for a job there (on the back of seeing the “Computers & Tourism” seminar advertised), implementing new systems and generally running the show. Voula hires her without hesitation.
  23. Afterwards, the women put their heads together to try and work out how they’ll break the news to Gus. Voula and Maria agree to try and con Gus into thinking that it was really his idea that Toula work in the travel agency.
  24. Voula and Maria play their little game with Gus, and basically lead him into suggesting Voula go to work at the travel agent. The women are delighted and flatter Gus into thinking it was his idea.
  25. Toula starts work at the travel agent, and really enjoys herself, until one day Ian looks in through the window and sees her. They stare at each other but then Toula gets shy and hides behind a water dispenser and Ian, unable to see her anymore, goes on his way.
  26. Toula and her parents are watching TV one night when the doorbell rings. Gus’ Turk-hating mother has gone walkabout again, and is now seriously annoying their neighbours. Afterwards Gus says to Toula: “there are two types of people: Greeks, and everybody else who wish they were Greeks”. Toula rolls her eyes and walks off. “What’s the matter with her?”, wonders Maria.
  27. Cut to Toula at work in the travel agent. Ian walks by, and looks inside. To amuse Toula, he does a chicken walk by the window but then collides with an old woman who belts him repeatedly with her handbag. Ian then comes inside, and Toula makes a fool of herself by getting her mike trapped around her neck. However she and Ian then sit on the floor and flirt, and Ian then asks her out to dinner and she immediately says yes.
  28. Toula and Ian go out to dinner, and Ian asks Toula if she’d rather go to eat at a Greek restaurant. He knows a good one, he says, “Dancing Zorba’s”, but Toula then explains that her family owns that restaurant (he has obviously forgotten her from their first meeting). He then remembers however – “you’re that waitress”. “I was kinda going through a phase, I was frump girl”, she explains. “Ok, no Greek – Italian, tomorrow night?” Ian says, and Toula agrees.
  29. Cut to the following evening and Toula getting ready to go out. Her father catches her getting ready and asks her where she’s going, and she lies, telling him that she’s going to a pottery class.
  30. They go out to dinner and then afterwards walk across the bridge, where they stop to talk. Toula is quite evasive about her family and background, until eventually she explains her situation: “no one in my family has ever gone out with a non-Greek before”. “You’re wonderful”, she tells Ian, “but I just don’t see how this is going to work out”. However he isn’t having any of this, and tells her that she’s beautiful and they kiss.
  31. Ian drives her home, and they kiss again.
  32. Montage sequence of Ian and Toula kissing in his car outside her house, after three different dates, with her pulling away (in his view prematurely!) and going to bed. Ian looks frustrated.
  33. The next morning, Maria comments on Toula’s current happy state, and asks her how her pottery class is going (she still hasn’t told her family about Ian yet). She lies, telling her mother that it’s fine.
  34. Cut to Toula in the travel agency, being groped by Ian. Toula’s cousin Nikki walks in on them kissing, and tells Toula that her family has found out about Ian. She explains that a Greek person called VICKY saw Toula kissing Ian in the restaurant parking lot, and then the Greek mafia system kicked in as word spread furiously, eventually reaching her parents.
  35. Ian comes over to ask Gus’ permission to date Toula, and he refuses. Ian leaves (telling Toula that he’ll see her the following evening), and Gus goes ballistic, blaming Toula’s “education” for her choice of man. After he’s stormed off, Toula apologises to her mother for lying about Ian, but her mother tells her to end things with Ian. “But I love him”, pleads Toula, but her mother dismisses this claim by telling Toula to eat something (as if to clear her head).
  36. Later on, the family have dinner but Gus has invited a Greek “friend” round to dinner, in an attempt to pair Toula off with him. This backfires, however, when the guest’s unattractiveness becomes apparent to all.
  37. Cut to Toula in Ian’s car one night after their date. Rather than drive to her house, he’s gone to his apartment, and invites her to come up. Once inside, she jumps on him, and they have sex.
  38. Short montage sequence of Toula’s family attempting to pair her off with more entirely unsuitable Greek men, much to her disgust.
  39. Ian and Toula then go round to his parents’ house for dinner, and it’s a slightly awkward meal, in which Ian’s parents reveal their ignorance by suggesting that Armenia is close to Greece.
  40. Cut to Ian and Toula in bed together round at his apartment. They confess their love for each other, and then Ian asks her to marry him and she says yes. He gives her a ring.
  41. Cut to Gus, sulking in the dark. “They fell in love, it’s done”, Maria tells him. Gus voices his concerns about Ian – he knows nothing about him, nothing about his family, and nothing about his character. “No one talks to me about anything anymore”, he moans, before criticising Ian for not coming to ask his permission to marry Toula.
  42. Toula comes to visit Ian at work, and explains how she’s feeling. “When I’m with you, I’m so happy”, she says, “but my family are so unhappy”. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get them to accept me”, he says. She wants them to go away to get married, but he doesn’t want to creep off like they’re ashamed of themselves.
  43. Cut to the restaurant, and Toula’s family force Gus to sit down and have a meal one-on-one with Ian. We learn that Ian is intending to be baptised tomorrow in the Greek Orthodox Church. Nikki is going to be his Godmother.
  44. The next day Ian is baptised in the church, as the others look on. Afterwards, Toula thanks him for doing this for her, and he says “I’m Greek now”.
  45. Afterwards, all the family come round and Ian is swamped by his new family, as they knock Toula out of the way to kiss and hug him. The men in Toula’s family then wind Ian up that if he hurts Toula they’ll kill him, and he almost believes them. Aunt Voula then invites Ian round for dinner, but Toula tells everyone that Ian is a vegetarian, and they’re astounded (and quite unimpressed, too).
  46. Cut to Ian and Toula with Ian’s parents. Ian explains that they’ve set a date for the wedding, and Ian’s parents are keen for them to marry at the country club. Ian explains that they’re going to marry in Toula’s church, and Ian’s parents seem unimpressed.
  47. Ian and Toula are now with her parents, and her father manages to persuade her to have a big wedding, with all the family invited, when she had wanted a small one. We also see her family railroading the process in a number of areas, such as the wedding invitations, which Maria has simply gone ahead and ordered herself, with consulting Ian and Toula. Ian examines the invitations and realises that they’ve spelt his mother’s name wrong, and cousin Nikki reveals that she’s gone ahead and ordered Toula’s dress and earrings!
  48. Later Toula’s brother Nick comes to see her, and tells her about his plans to go to study at art school. “You started this Toula”, he says, “you wanted to do something so you did it”. “Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you will become”, says Nick.
  49. The next day Toula is at work, and calls her mother to check that everything’s ok – Ian and his parents are coming over to meet them later. Her mother then lets slip that she’s invited the wholefamily over, and Toula despairs – it was only meant to be a small get-together.
  50. Toula, Ian and Ian’s parents arrive at Toula’s house to find a full-on party underway, with hordes of people. Ian’s parents are introduced to everyone by name (there are about 40 “Nick”s) and look in a state of shock throughout. Nick then plays a trick on Ian, conning him into telling everyone: “I have three testicles”.
  51. There then follows a sequence in which Ian’s parents are virtually assaulted with wave upon wave of food and drink, as Toula’s family welcome them in their own, very Greek way. It’s not long before they’re both drunk on Ouzo.
  52. Later on, Gus is upset because his family were nice to Ian’s parents, but they looked at them like they were “from the zoo”. He doesn’t think it’s going to work between the families, describing Ian’s family as “dry as a piece of toast”.
  53. At school, Ian tells Mike that he can’t “officially” be best man, but is really. Ian tells Mike that he’ll fix him up with one of Toula’s cousins.
  54. Toula speaks with her mother, and voices her concern that her marriage to Ian is hurting her father. Her mother tells her not to worry, however – they came to America in the first place, so their children “could live”.
  55. Toula wakes up on her wedding day, to find the house full of the female members of her family. One of them then notices a huge spot on Toula’s chin, and another goes to find some cover-up.
  56. A frenetic montage sequence then ensues, as the women tear around the house getting ready and getting Toula ready.
  57. Cut to the church, and Gus walking Toula down the aisle. Ian’s parents are amazed to see all the guests spitting on Toula as she passes, for good luck. The wedding goes off without hitch, and Toula and Ian drive off in the limo.
  58. On their way to the reception, Toula tells Ian about her giant zit, and he reveals that he had the same problem, but put some Windex on it, which cleared it up (her father’s solution to all ailments).
  59. At the wedding dinner, Gus stands up and gives a speech, with words to the effect of: “we’re all different, but we’re all the same really”. He then gives Ian and Toula his wedding gift: a house. Ian can’t believe it and Toula starts crying and gives her father a big hug.
  60. Everyone gets up and dances, and Toula reflects that: “my family is big and loud…but wherever I go, and whatever I do, they will be there”.
  61. Ian and Toula move into the house bought for them by her father, and we flashforward to six years later, when their daughter is off to Greek school. She wants to go to the Brownies instead, but Toula promises her that she can “marry whoever she wants”. The happy family walk off to school, passing Toula’s parents’ house (which is right next door)…
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