My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Elena Kampouris, Alex Wolff
“There is no difference between hugging and suffocation,” one character says. The same could be applied to this unwelcome sequel to one of the millennium’s biggest surprise hits. In 2002 Greek actress Nia Vardalos became a worldwide sensation with her script and starring role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It became the biggest romantic comedy of all time and the highest grossing independent film. A television show was created in 2003 to capitalize on the hit, it failed in just seven episodes, this sequel explains exactly why it failed in less than seven scenes. Thirteen years later, Vardalos is back without a single stand out performance following her first claim to fame. It would be easy to say this is just a repeat of the first film, but it’s so much worse.
Toula (Vardalos) and Ian (Corbett) have lived happily ever after since we saw them last enduring the disapproval of family patriarch Gus (Constantine). Toula spends her days between working at family restaurant Dancin’ Zorba’s and volunteering for every activity her 17-year-old daughter Paris (Kampouris) is involved in. That isn’t necessary because Ian is the principal and keeps his own watch. Toula and Ian are having a hard time with letting Paris go as she prepares to choose an out of state college. In a bombshell announcement, Gus announces to the family that his marriage certificate was never actually signed, meaning he and Maria (Kazan) are technically not married. Now he must woo, propose and throw her the wedding she never had.
The desperation in the dialogue and character evolvement feels so dated because Vardalos mistakenly assumes the audience wants to see and hear the exact same jokes again.
The struggling economy and technology are the most noticeable differences in Vardalos new script. She brings old characters into a new era as Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) and Maria scream at each other on i-Pad’s. Just like before, Toula has lost her makeup and shiny curls for frumpy glasses and dull hair, she will again need a make-over. “You were a girlfriend before a wife,” Voula reminds her. Vardalos writes in stereotypes, only this time she has a blue print of what worked over a decade ago and just plugs in what she thinks are smart, updated references. The desperation in the dialogue and character involvement feels so dated because Vardalos mistakenly assumes the audience wants to see and hear the exact same jokes again.
The original was a hit, not because every Greek family bought a ticket, but because the themes were universal. This sequel impersonates TV’s Modern Family or a sitcom rather than offering a fresh, original new take on familiar characters. Vardalos theme of parents difficulty with letting go of children to college only reminds me of more effective scripts on the subject matter (i.e. Enough Said). The film creates chaos instead of character development and fleeting laughter instead of meaningful anecdotes. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 does the audience a disservice, it gives them exactly what they might expect (if anything) and never offers anything intelligent or unexpected.
Someone forgot to check the expiration date on this product because it’s expired.