My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – Film Review
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a pleasant surprise. Although if you are a fan of the original, like me, you might say you saw this coming. The original movie excited many and I am sure fans were eager to watch the sequel, whether skeptical about its ability to surpass the first one, or faithful that it would deliver.
This time Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) have a daughter who is applying for admission to various colleges. Of course Toula wants her daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), to stay in Chicago. However, just as we were introduced to young Toula in 2002, young Paris feels suffocated by the over-the-top ways of her ethnically mixed family. Between being told she is starting to look too old for marriage and persistent warnings to protect her “poulaki”, for her studying in a different city definitely seems like the more appealing option.
On one side we see the same old movie references manifesting in a new generation. On the other side some rather shocking news surfaces that makes us see Grandpa Gus (Michael Constantine) and Grandma Maria Portokalos (Lainie Kazan) in a slightly different light. Looking through some old family documentation, Gus finds out that his and Maria’s wedding certificate was never acknowledged by the church. Being a couple of traditional values, Gus is devastated that he and his wife have been “living in sin” for over fifty years. Maria, on the other hand, sees this as an opportunity to finally get a decent proposal and wedding out of Gus, or at least something more meaningful than “We are moving to America!”
This boisterous family with traditional values and absolutely no boundaries comes to us as no surprise. But just like the Portokalos characters, who are bold an unapologetic, the movie seems to say, “We are what we are. Like it or not,” taking advantage of most if not all the old punchlines from the first movie. Many years may have passed but Grandpa Gus is still able to find the Greek origin for “any word!” and he still uses Windex as an solution for everything, from a window cleaner to an ailment for his swollen hip.
This movie takes us back to a time in cinema when a storyline was more simplistic. Even though we appreciate many of the mind-blowing plots that are out today, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a good throwback to what had us charmed by cinema in the first place. It takes us back to genuine storytelling where we do not have to anticipate some kind of major twist or surprise, but it still manages to maintain some engaging plot development. The story is straightforward and relatable. Taking on an old-school type sitcom approach, much of the humour is generated from a sequence of extravagantly awkward occurrences.
However, since My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is basically a continuation of the first one, if you were never a fan of the first film, then you will certainly not be of this one. Like the first installment, the sequel is your typical sentimental chick flick, so if you have to be pinched on the ear to see this movie, it is best if you stay at home. But for those who are already eager to see it, be assured that this sequel will have you reeling from the humour.
As Grandpa Gus might add, “The word, ‘humour’ comes from the Greek word, ‘chioumor’. Humour – chioumor … there you go!”