Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
The original, 13 years ago, was full of vitality and spunk;
funny without being crass, and affirming of family values without
being cheesy. The
sequel, alas, fails to capture the same magic as before, though it
gamely tries to advance the story with many of the same characters.
Nia Vardalos (who also wrote the script) reprises her role as
Toula, who is definitely in “the sandwich generation”:
she’s responsible not only for raising her teenage
daughter, Paris (the lovely Elena Kampouris), but she’s also still
very tied in with her parents, who own the Greek restaurant where
she still works (she tried a travel agency for a while, but it
closed). Her husband,
Ian (John Corbett) is feeling a bit neglected, Paris is feeling
smothered as she prepares to go off to college, and the parents, Gus
(Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan) not only play the
domineering patriarch and matriarch with Toula, they do with the
rest of the big family, as well.
Everyone is in everyone else’s business, which makes Paris
want to go to college somewhere far away.
The latest crisis is that Gus has somehow discovered that his
own wedding license was never signed---something about how chaotic
things were in Greece after the War----and their current priest
refuses to sign it without presiding over an actual ceremony.
In other words, they’ve been “living in sin” all this
time, which means all the children are technically….never mind;
does anybody even think that way anymore?
Well, this big fat Greek family definitely is an uproar.
Maria decides that since Gus isn’t always nice to her, then
he can just sleep on the couch until he comes up with a “real”
proposal. Once he does,
she goes all-out for the big family wedding, complete with white
dress, attendants, police cars serving as limos, and a raucous
reception in the back yard?
Aside from the occasional humor with speaking Greek to the
uninitiated, with the unexpected translation on the screen, the
humor is mostly self-deprecating.
But Toula, along with Paris, and Maria, and even the old
grandmother, all get to have their makeover bit, and look glamorous
for a while. Toula and
Ian re-spark their romance, Paris finds a nice boy to go to prom
with, and discovers that he’s Greek, also.
Gus and Maria, after a lot of blustering and posturing,
resume their “opa” and “oma” roles, and this big, loud,
boisterous, loving family can now live happily until the next
It’s cute, but not hilarious.
It’s also harmless sitcom-type fun for all-family viewing,
and sometimes those opportunities in modern cinema are few and far