My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Doesn’t Stray Far from Its Ancestry
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Directed by: Kirk Jones
Written by: Nia Vardalos
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Ian Gomez, Elena Kampouris
Running time 94 minutes
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material (sexual innuendo)
Roughly, 18 years after Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) and Ian Miller (John Corbett) had a big fat Greek wedding, they now have a 17 year old daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) who is growing up, and desperate to escape her big fat Greek family. In the midst of some life altering developments Toula’s parents Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan) discover they were never officially married, and must now plan another big fat Greek wedding. Wackiness ensues.
The whole gang of big fat Greek characters is back, and they brought all their old jokes with them. It is not that this sequel is not funny; it is that so many of the jokes are recycled, and repeated, from the first film that it feels like a parody. It is still relatable, funny, and sweet, but at times frightfully dull. So much is forced that it feels like Vardalos lost sight of what made the first film successful, which was that it felt like a living, breathing, exaggerated look at a family. Making a joke bigger, and louder, does not make it funnier. It is like a comedian telling the audience when the punch line is coming, and point out when it passed, just in case the audience missed it.
In spite of the overplayed gags, there are some genuinely sweet moments, and some touching interactions, particularly between Paris and Toula, or Toula and Ian. Those relationships and interactions felt authentic, and showed the spark in Vardalos’ writing that was too often lost trying to recreate a hit comedy. I do think that, like the first film, many audience members will find relatable characters, and situations. Things that remind us of our own crazy families, and will make us laugh because if you do not laugh about it, you could crack. For this I became quite fond of the first film, and I wanted to enjoy the second, but just like the audience that watched the comedian’s punch line fly by, I couldn’t form a strong attachment to My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.