My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – Film Review by Emily Elphinstone
Director: Kirk Jones
Writer: Nia Vardalos
Stars: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine
Back in 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a sleeper hit as a comedy about long-suffering Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardolos) and her very Greek, very overbearing family. Now fourteen years later, the Portokalos family return. Written once again by Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 features all the original cast, including the scene stealing Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin), and much of the same humour; which is both the film’s strength, and weakness.
After their marriage in the original film, Toula and Ian (John Corbett) now have a seventeen year old daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris), who is deciding just how far away she needs to go for college, while it’s Toula’s turn to be the overbearing mother. Meanwhile, due to an administrative error on their marriage certificate, it is her parents who need to get married.
By sticking so closely to the same formula, the sequel holds few surprises. Popular themes such as the family’s insistence that everyone is descended from the Greeks, father Gus (Michael Constantatine)’s obsession with the powers of Windex, and the family’s insistence on oversharing, are all repeated with mixed results; but such repetition seems an inevitable feature of family life in an almost charming way. In fact, the film avoids feeling too stale because the characters, though undoubtedly sticking to stereotypes, are genuinely likeable. Vardalos and Corbett have the same easy chemistry they portrayed in the first film, and the rest of the family, like the film itself, may seem annoying at times, but they act out of genuinely good intentions.
With issues of empty-nest syndrome, marriage getting stale, and ageing parents, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is targeted at women of a certain age; but with an atmosphere that leans firmly toward sitcom-style escapism rather than any form of social commentary, and easy humour, it is built to be a crowd pleaser. It may not be original, but what it does, it does well.
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