(Part One) In an age and culture where so many individuals and small groups shrilly demand unfettered acceptance into the mainstream, the assimilationist message of My Big Fat Greek Wedding seems sensible and correct. Meanwhile, in the aforementioned Spider-Man, Peter Parker comes to realize that in standing out, he can never fit in. Like Toula, he was a natural born geek who blossomed, and was finally noticed by the really really good looking object of his affections. Somewhat like Toula, who saved Ian from his pathetic background, Peter rescues Mary Jane from would-be assailants and other villains.

Unlike Toula, however, his transformation was accidental rather than intentional, and resulted in freakish attributes and abilities. He is so fast, for instance, that he can detect his secret love Mary Jane’s danger of slipping on her way to the popular kids' table in the cafeteria, then catch her and all the items on her tray before she hits the floor. He is thrilled by his new powers and uses them frivolously. Far from wanting to pass as a regular citizen, he designs his new look for maximum distinction. He is also very specific about his new name--The Human Spider--and miffed when it isn't respected.


Peter abandons trivial behavior when it contributes to the death of his Uncle Ben. As he dies, the only father Peter has ever known tells him, "With great power comes great responsibility," and that becomes Spider-Man's credo. Peter/ Spider-Man soon learns, however, that another consequence of great power is great peril to those closest to him. By the end of the movie, Peter's mentor, his best friend, his uncle and aunt, and the only girl he has ever loved have all been grievously harmed or killed as a result of his identity as Super-Man. He will spend the rest of his life as an outsider, trying to combat evil whilst flack from the battle rains all over good. "Not everyone is meant to make a difference," he says. "But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option."

So there's a movie about a girl who finds joy in becoming like everybody she knows, and there's a guy who becomes a superhero and abandons all hope of normalcy and happiness. In the middle are Lilo & Stitch.

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