A member of a large, loud, intrusive Greekfamily that only wants her to get married and have children, thirty year old Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos works in her family’s Chicagorestaurant, Dancing Zorba’s, but longs to do something more with her life. While working one day, she is immediately smitten with Ian Miller, a handsome, Anglo-Saxon man. She amuses Ian when he catches her staring at him and jokingly calls herself his “own private Greek statue.” That evening, Toula offers to go to college to learn about computers so she can improve the restaurant, but her father, Gus, becomes emotional, claiming Toula wants to leave him. Her mother, Maria, comforts Toula and convinces Gus to agree to Toula’s idea.
As the weeks pass, Toula gains more confidence and changes her image: switching her thick-framed glasses for contact lenses, styling her hair, and wearing makeup and brighter clothes that show off her figure. She sees a notice for a course on computers and tourism and tells her Aunt Voula, who owns a travel agency, that she could apply what she learns in the course to Voula’s business. Voula agrees, and she and Maria slyly convince Gus to agree as well.
Toula’s happiness working at the travel agency catches Ian’s attention and he asks her to dinner. Knowing her family wouldn’t approve of him, Toula lies that she is taking a pottery class. Ian realizes Toula is the waitress from Dancing Zorba’s and, contrary to Toula’s fear that he will lose interest in her, asks her out to dinner the next night. They begin dating and fall in love. Toula’s lie is ultimately exposed, infuriating Gus is furious that Ian did not ask his permission to date Toula. He refuses to let them continue seeing each other, but they ignore his wishes, so he introduces Toula to single friends of his own to no avail.
Ian proposes marriage and Toula accepts. Maria tells Gus that he must accept their marriage, but he remains upset because Ian is not a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. To get the family to accept him, Ian agrees be baptized into the church. The family does accept him, but constantly inserts themselves into the wedding planning, designing ugly bridesmaid’s dresses and misspelling Ian’s mother’s name on their wedding invitations so it looks like his parents are two men.
When Ian’s parents join the entire family for dinner and react to them as if they were “from the zoo,” Toula worries about whether her father has really accepted Ian. Maria explains that growing up her family experienced many hardships and that she and Gus simply want her to live life her way and be happy. Toula’s grandmother shows Toula photos of herself as a young woman and the crown she wore at her own wedding, which Toula puts on. When the three women all look at Toula in her bedroom mirror, the sight of three generations in the reflection makes Toula smile with pride.
At the wedding reception, Gus makes a heartwarming speech focusing on how the differences in Toula’s and Ian’s backgrounds do not matter. He and Maria then surprise Toula and Ian with a house as a wedding gift. As the two families dance together, Toula narrates that while her family is loud and odd she has realized they will always be there for her.
Six years later, Toula and Ian leave their house, located next door to Gus and Maria’s, to walk their daughter to Greek school.
A change in the weather, so housework and reading were order of the day.
And painting. I’m enjoying the process, the tiny numbers have me taking my glasses off to see the details. Listening to music usually puts me in the zone, and away I go.