There’s a storied history of belated comedy sequels almost inevitably falling short of the original’s glory, either by way of lazily rehashing what came before or cobbling together a bare bones script solely to milk an audience’s desire (and wallets) to see more of these characters. As it just so happens, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 forgettably satisfies both of these criteria.
Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are busy preparing themselves for the reality that their teenage daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) will soon be heading away for college, when it transpires that Toula’s parents aren’t in fact legally married due to a technicality, and so “need” to go through the ceremony once again.
Yes, it’s an especially rancid and cynical plot to kick off a sequel, and pretty much defines the movie entirely; there are tons of callbacks, the jokes frequently echo the original, and the wedding itself hurtles through the usual “will they? won’t they?” rigmarole. All of it is desperately inferior to the 2002 smash hit.
To Vardalos’ and Corbett’s credit, their chemistry is what makes the film in any way watchable, though sadly they don’t share anywhere near as many scenes this time around. The addition of a child can so frequently derail movies of this sort, but Kampouris is a charmingly off-kilter addition to the family unit.
The rest of the relatives are for the most part as irritating as they were in the first movie, and if you found the overlapping screaming obnoxiously grating the first time around, you’re unlikely to think much differently here. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll probably be able to give this one a free pass.
Even if its musings on the importance of family “just because” feel uneasy and outdated in the modern world, at least this movie’s values are a little more progressive and forward-thinking than the borderline-offensive original, reflective of how family values and gender politics have shifted somewhat over the last 15-ish years.
Basically, it’s a bad movie, albeit one that’s so blandly packaged and easy to forget that it’s hard to hate; it really doesn’t touch the sides at all. Fans of the original will tolerate it, and the rest of us either won’t see it or won’t remember that we did.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is in cinemas now