Friday, March 25, 2016
Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) came out when I was in high school, and I remember I loved it. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, then, as its sequel, had big shoes to fill; luckily, although it wasn't quite as funny as the first installment, it still has lots of laughs, and I definitely enjoyed it.
The Portakalos clan is back in this movie, and the whole gang has returned. By now, Toula (Nia Vardalous) and Ian (John Corbett) have a daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), who is in her senior year of high school and deciding which college to attend. The whole family wants her to attend Northwestern so she can stay in the Chicago area, but Paris has her sights set on NYU. At the same time, Gus (Michael Constantine) is looking through old papers and finds his and Maria's (Lainie Kazan) marriage certificate, from fifty years ago .... only to see that the priest never signed the certificate, so technically he and Maria aren't married. The "big fat Greek wedding" in this movie, then, is his and Maria's, and Maria wants to go all out this time since she did not on the first go-round.
I'd venture to say that you don't have to have seen the first movie to enjoy this one; however, if you haven't, you're missing out on a lot of ongoing jokes, such as Gus's obsession with Windex as a "cure-all" and his insistence that you can break down any word to show that its origins are Greek. My favorite characters here were actually Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) and Gus's mother, Yiayia (Bess Meisler), who was super strange but also very funny. This installment focuses more on the family as a whole, too, whereas the first MBFGW focused more on Toula and Ian, and their relationship.
Yes, see this movie. It's definitely kooky, but so was the first one, and that's what brings the most laughs; in one scene, we see Yiayia running dancing through the street wearing some lingerie over her clothes that Voula had chosen for Toula to wear that night, and in another, she's posing as a mannequin in a store window. The family is just as nosy and close to one another as ever, and in some way, most of us can relate to that - Toula is now back working at the family's restaurant, too, since the travel agency has closed due to financial troubles. The film has some great cameos, too - John Stamos plays a new Greek in town, that Gus wants to be friends with, and even Joey Fatone is back as cousin Angelo. It will be interesting to see if this movie does well at the box office, since the original film came out fourteen years ago, but I predict that fans of the first movie (which is still much beloved) will make it happen.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is in theaters today, March 25th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 94 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.