Italian director Gianni Amelio's film is in the long tradition of stories about bumpkins who come to the big city and are corrupted or irrevocably changed by the experience. Amelio does a good job of depicting the often-baffling persistence of family ties.
Step inside Aunt Olive’s and you’ll be overwhelmed by the densely packed shelves and the stuffed refrigerated cases. You can buy wine and beer, all kinds of high-end munchies, desserts, freshly baked bread and pies, sandwiches, side dishes, and complete dinners-to-go (four prearranged choices including roasted chicken, meatloaf and pasta, along with sides, salads, and bread). Be sure to try the wonderful three-cheese macaroni; the hearty seafood cakes are tasty, too.
Raised on loyalty, tradition, moussaka and guilt, Toula Portokalos is Greek, and never allowed to forget it for a second. Directed by veteran sitcom director Joel Zwick, her story is that rare animal known as "a perfect family film," because it's about family and ethnic tradition.
With their hearts as hard as the walls of Columbine High School and their protective birthright of upper-class privilege, two poor little rich boys make the art of the perfect murder their extracurricular activity — with Sandra Bullock.
Though this film’s fundamental tragic flaw is its script, the sets and most of the actors on them are "B" quality and director Chuck Russell never fires The Rock into the steely blood lust required to spark life into this kind of hero.
This isn't so much a story as a poetic portrait of a writer, pieced together with running metaphors, cheap beer, haunting memories, a broken marriage and a sound track of Mississippi hard blues that works like a train pumping the poetry along its way — with Debra Winger and Arliss Howard.