"Sickeningly sweet at times and, yes, the Greek jokes will grate on you but there is fun to be had here"
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (so innovatively named) is jam-packed full of laughter and joy. Yet, if you have seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you have already seen this Spanakopita infused romance of a sequel. It’s been nearly 14 years since this story first lit up the silver screen and even after the failure of their short lived series My Big Fat Greek Life, Universal Pictures decided to give this tale another whirl. Albeit, just as the series failed to reconnect with audiences, sadly, and for the most part here, it falls into the same category.
We are thrown straight into the story - or family should we say - just as grungy 17-year-old Paris (Elena Kampouris) is. Working in the family-owned Greek restaurant, there is no escaping the fact that she is not four years old anymore and would very much like for her abnormally large family to stop faulting her every move and put a hold on marrying her off.
Whilst dealing with the fact her daughter is more than ready to fly the coop, Toula (Nia Vardalos) has let her family consume her life and marriage and now they are trying to do the same to her beloved daughter. As she constantly feels the need to fix her parents, things start to take their toll not only on Paris but her husband, Ian. A message of following your own path and not someone else’s is spot on, yet Auntie Voula’s advice of ‘tarting yourself up’ a little too much for date night to impress your other half might not be the right path to pursue. Of course, Vardalos looks stunning, yet so would everyone if they spent £500 and 4 hours getting ready for dinner.
As usual, John Corbett as Toula’s suffering husband is our common ground. Dealing with the stress of marrying into this crazy family, without Ian it may even be possible for this to turn into a full on Maria (Lainie Kazan) and Gus (Michael Constantine) show hurtling towards every stage of madness conceivable. As we have previously witnessed, the stereotypical view of Greek tradition that one may take offence to is heightened even more as they push the boundaries with jokes aplenty. Not failing to show the blatant comedic stance that actress come writer Nia Vardalos is going for; as the film develops a repetition that wears thin. The subplots that intertwine with each other aren’t as potent as they should be. Too many times such moments are diluted by a distasteful joke or elongated to such an extent if it was funny, it isn’t now.
Not without enduring charm and meaningful moments, not forgetting Joey Fatone coming out the closet (that’s the guy from ‘N Sync), if this was executed without flashing lights eliminating the message at heart, it would be all the more enjoyable. Sickeningly sweet at times and, yes, the Greek jokes will grate on you but there is fun to be had here. Just don’t look for anything you haven’t seen before.