So apparently, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is considered the #1 romantic comedy of all time (at least in the television ads,) thanks to it grossing over $368 million worldwide. Another piece of information that yours truly was also not aware of was the fact the original movie spawned a short-lived television series on CBS called My Big Fat Greek Life. With all the buzz surrounding this franchise, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was created. Yet, it’s doubtful anyone expected it would take almost fourteen years for said sequel to actually happen. Regardless of the long wait, how does this continuation of the original stand up in our modern-day? Well, you could do a lot worse comedy wise, but the ultimate results of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 are… mixed.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is the sequel to the 2002 smash hit starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. This time around, Toula (Nia Vardalos) is the mother of a seventeen year old daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris) and is struggling with the thought of her leaving for college. Meanwhile, Toula’s parents, Maria (Lainie Kazan) and Gus (Michael Constantine,) discover they haven’t actually been married for over fifty years, as their marriage certificate was never officially signed. In order to correct this mistake, the two elderly lovebirds find themselves bringing the family together in order to arrange a proper wedding.
The good news about My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is that if you enjoyed the first film, you’ll probably like this one too. The characters are just as ridiculously over-the-top as before, there are plenty of laughs to be had, and even some a couple dramatic moments thrown in to spice things up further. A large part of the audience in my theater was laughing consistently at every joke thrown on-screen, they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. The problem for me, however, is that while this sequel is definitely funnier than the first one, it tries to accomplish too much at once that makes it feel like an overstuffed, directionless dramedy.
To be frank, there are things My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 does better than the original, and things that it does worse than the original. The initial “Greek Wedding” may not have been anything groundbreaking, but at least it knew what it wanted to be: a silly, family driven romance movie. The sequel, on the other hand, tries to take the same formula, but multiply the number of plots and subplots to the point of disarray. Whether this interests you or not, did this sequel really need to have another wedding storyline? Toula’s family plot is more than interesting enough to warrant a sequel alone, but it sadly isn’t the main focus of this piece at all. In reality, it just comes off as a tacked on piece to draw this movie to the hour and a half mark. Even if these characters are still as lovable as before, they just aren’t given a sufficient dramatic element to keep their stories rolling smoothly.
In all honesty, even Maria and Gus’ false marriage plot got to point of irritation at times. In one scene, when an ambulance is called because the elderly Gus has gotten stuck in a bathtub, his wife Maria refuses to go with him to the hospital, citing the fact that they aren’t married (in a blatant attempt to get him to re-propose.) I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I’d set aside my personal squabbles for the fact that my partner is going to the hospital, and not try to use it as attempt to get something I want.
The only real thing this movie has going for it is its laughs, since My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 can’t juggle its numerous narratives well at all. If you thoroughly enjoyed what the original had to offer in terms of its humor and quirky family characters, then you will undoubtedly feel right at home here. However, if you’re looking for something that progressed these characters in a smart, fashionable way, especially after the long wait between the features, then you will likely be disappointed. Overall, if you want a funny yet directionless dramedy, you go out and enjoy this movie. To everyone else, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is probably still worth seeing, but don’t feel the need to rush out and watch it as quickly as possible. Perhaps just a late night rental in the future will suffice.