By Christian DiMartino
Toula and the gang are back at it again in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, but sadly, they probably should’ve stayed at home. We know they need the money though.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a small charmer, but yet it was a box-office smash back when it opened in 2002. It also made a star (or, so we thought) of the charming Nia Vardalos. Since then, everyone else has kind of vanished, and Vardalos has pretty much continued a losing streak. Which brings us to this one.
MBFGW2 has moments of charm, and it’s a film that certainly means well. But yet so much of it doesn’t work. It’s a mess so large, Windex cannot rescue it.
The good news: The entire cast from the original is back… but they’re trapped in a plot that really just smells like a sequel. We hear the gears grinding as this charming cast tries to keep the engine running.
Toula (Vardalos) is back again, and is still married to Ian (John Corbett). They have a daughter named Paris (Elena Kampouris). All is well… except most of their obnoxious family lives on the street with them, and follows them everywhere. Seriously. Paris finds them kind of insufferable, and wants to go to college in New York… even though the family desperately wants to stay in Chicago with them. Yikes.
That’s just one plot element. The other? Well, Gus and Maria (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan), Toula’s parents, find out that their minister never even signed their marriage certificate. So, what does this mean? They’re going to have to throw another big, fat, Greek wedding.
That’s right. Now I thought the shenanigans of the family were funny the first time around, but this time they all kind of got on my nerves. Except for Andrea Martin as the spunky Aunt Voula. She gives this film the life it needs. It’s always entertaining, at least. But yet it relies on too much from the original. It’s the same jokes over again, but this time, they feel stale.
Also, too much of it just feels unnecessary. For example, take the couple played by John Stamos and Rita Wilson (a co-producer, with her husband Tom Hanks). What do they bring to the table? A big, fat nothing. The same goes for a gay subplot, which feels so random, out of place, and unnecessary, you’ll wonder why nobody prevented it. They had to have known.
But yet, “unnecessary” runs deep throughout MBFGW2. Sure, it’s nice to see them all again, but did we need this film? To quote Jordan Belfort: “Absolutely f–king not.” I cringed. I rolled my eyes. I put my hand over my face. I shook my head in disbelief. I don’t totally feel right with bashing this film, because of my enjoyment for the original. But yet this one is so cliche, so predictable, and… yeah.
It’s a big, fat, Greek letdown. Hopefully Vardalos will find her footing again someday.