Barbie and Oppenheimer have taken over the box office — but filmmaker Nia Vardalos isn’t liking what she’s seeing in terms of the comparisons.

“I’m reading critics’ attacks of Barbie versus the fawning over Oppenheimer. Both films are great [and] one was made by a woman,” Vardalos, 60, wrote via her Instagram on Saturday, July 22. “The original My Big Fat Greek Wedding got scathing reviews, even attacking my looks. Then [the viewers] spoke up with your wallets and love, I got nominated for an Academy Award, plus more acting, writing awards.”

She continued: “And I sometimes think about the meanest critics having to sit through 20 years of meals with their family quoting my lines 😈.”

Vardalos — who has since made her Instagram account private — wrote and starred in 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding about 30-something Toula as she worked in her family’s Greek restaurant while dodging their overbearing matchmaking attempts. After vowing to take charge of her life, Toula goes back to school, gets a new job at her aunt’s travel agency and falls in love with teacher Ian Miller (John Corbett). Her family is then tasked with throwing them a massive Greek wedding.

While the critics initially panned the movie, fan enthusiasm grew rampant — and led to two sequelsMy Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 premiered in 2016 and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is slated for a theatrical release later this year on September 8.

Nia Vardalos Laments on Critical 'Barbie' Reviews, Relates From 'Big Fat Greek Wedding' Experience

Nia Vardalos as Toula Portokalos and John Corbett as Ian Miller in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’
Sophie Giraud/Ifc/Kobal/Shutterstock

Barbie Greta Gerwig’s film about the beloved doll brand — and Oppenheimer — Christopher Nolan’s historical epic about the creation of the atomic bomb — stoked a rivalry since they both hit theaters on Friday, July 21. Fans have even taken sides in the matter by proclaiming which movie they wanted to see on opening weekend or first in a “Barbenheimer” double feature.

“I think the Barbie [and] Oppenheimer rivalry is hilarious,” Barbie actress Issa Rae told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month at the red carpet premiere. “I love that there’s solidarity though [and instead of] people trying to pit us against one other, it’s turned into a double-feature situation.”

Rae, 38, added: “Obviously, you should see Oppenheimer first then cleanse your palate with Barbie. Why would I want to depress my [weekend]? It’s about the atomic bomb, people are going to die, like, I want to [end my weekend with] mimosas and cocktails after Barbie! I don’t want to sulk.”

Barbie — which also stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling — ultimately raked in an estimated $155 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend. The sum is nearly double what Oppenheimer brought in, which was also above projections at $80.5 million.


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