My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Directed by:  Kirk Jones

Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Joey Fatone, and Elena Kampouris

In 2002, Nia Vardalos took the summer box office by storm with her romantic hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Despite having a budget of just $5 million, the film grossed over $368 million worldwide and was a surprise phenomenon.   Now, fourteen years later, Vardalos hopes to recreate the magic with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

The film picks up roughly 18 years after the events of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Toula (Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) have raised their daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) right next door to the rest of the Portokalos family.  Toula is stuck in another rut, although this time it is not because she is a “spinster.”  She has dedicated her life to raising Paris and is now taking care of her elderly parents Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan).  However, Toula is consumed by family responsibility and has lost herself.  She is obsessed with ensuring that her parents are happy and she is clinging to her daughter Paris to keep her from going out of town for college.  In addition, Toula and Ian have been so caught up in family and work that they have lost the romance in their marriage.

Meanwhile, Gus is attempting to establish that he is related to Alexander the Great.  As he is going through old boxes searching for information about his ancestors, he discovers that the priest who performed his wedding did not actually sign the marriage certificate.  As a result, Gus and Maria are not legally married.  Gus wants to simply visit a justice of the peace for a quick ceremony.  Maria, on the other hand, wants Gus to properly propose since his first proposal fifty years ago was abrupt and unromantic. Toula and the rest of the family try to help Gus and Maria reconcile for a big traditional Greek wedding.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
is like a pair of old fuzzy slippers you find under your bed.  You weren’t really looking for them, but once you put them on, they’re comfortable.  I was not interested in seeing the sequel.  As an initial matter, everyone else in the free world was seeing a little known superhero flick entitled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.   Thus, I was already disgruntled at being placed on rom com duty.  Plus, I was not interested in a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding  fourteen years after the original film.  The first was heart-warming perfection.   I was not looking for more.

Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed the film.  The Portokalos family is a fun bunch to watch.  The cast delivers their normal charm.  Vardalos is able to find some new comedic beats in her character’s journey from single wallflower to married mom juggling the world.  The family depicted is so full of life, passion and love, it is difficult not to smile while watching the film.  

With that being said, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is completely predictable and lacks the creative punch of the original film.  Vardalos’ narrative choice to have yet another film focused on a Portokalos family wedding feels too easy and almost lazy.  It would have been better if the film focused on a different area of Portokalos’ life.  Centering the film on another Greek wedding gives viewers a sense of déjà vu.  We’ve been there and done that.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
earns a 0.06% rating.  Have a pale lager with this one.  I would recommend seeing this film at an early matinee or watching it when it comes on cable.