Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
“People change. Greeks don’t.”
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
Director: Kirk Jones
Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine
Synopsis: The Portokalos family prepare for another big wedding.
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the belated sequel to Nia Vardolos’s 2002 sleeper hit, sees most of the original cast reunited for an anaemic comedy which shifts focus from Toula (Vardolos) and her husband, Ian (John Corbett) to Toula’s parents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), who, after fifty years, make the shocking discovery that they aren’t officially married. Naturally, this means that they must once again tie the knot – although Maria refuses to do so until Gus proposes. While Maria is making the old boy suffer for refusing to propose to the woman he thought he’d been married to for half-a-century, Toula’s daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) must decide whether she wants to attend college near home or in New York – although seeing as her extended family, who live on either side of her parents’ house, is a perpetual source of embarrassment, her decision seems to be a foregone conclusion.
Like most movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one that really required no sequel, so coming nearly fifteen years after its predecessor, one has to question why Vardolos felt compelled to write a second instalment. Or why she didn’t wait a few more years and have the pre-marital crises centre around Paris’s impending nuptials (Oh, wait: that one’s probably still to come…) instead of devoting so much screen time to the intensely annoying Maria. Unfortunately, the lengthy spell between films makes My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 no funnier than most sequels released with unseemly haste after the success of its predecessor. Despite starting off quite brightly, things quickly go downhill once the plot kicks in, and we have to sit through the kind of trivial nonsense usually reserved for half-hour TV sitcoms. The plot rambles like a pensioner in a thrift shop, poking about here and there, looking for something funny or emotional before moving on when finding nothing, and it’s not long before the first of too many tired jokes about one generation’s embarrassment over the preceding generation’s engaging in, or talking about, sex rears its head. And rather than coming across as a lovable group of colourful eccentrics, Toula’s large family are the kind of suffocating, insufferable busybodies most people would cross the street to avoid.
(Reviewed 4th August 2016)