By Nico Beland
Movie Review: C (2 ½ stars)
Making a sequel over ten years after the first film is a very risky move, especially if the movie is a comedy, there was Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues which is good, but then there’s Dumb and Dumber To and Zoolander 2 that just rehash its predecessor or simply not as funny as it was back in the 90s and 2000s. So I can safely say I wasn’t very enthusiastic when I first heard they were doing a sequel to the 2002 hit comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Going back to the first My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie, I don’t consider it a great comedy or one of those must-see staples of the genre, but I thought it was a decent flick, a goofy comedy about a couple getting married and a colorful cast of family members, the jokes and timing were okay, but what made the first movie so enjoyable to me was the family, Good God I love this family, from the grouchy grandma and grandpa to the sassy aunt, they actually remind me of characters I would see on a show like The Simpsons.
But apparently the film was a big hit when it came out and even nominated for an Academy Award®, spawned a short lived TV series, My Big Fat Greek Life, and now fourteen years after the first film, we have this sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and that’s where I come in. With my thoughts on the first film being adequate my expectations on the sequel were very low and could you really blame me? Most comedy sequels are almost never as good as its predecessor, as well as sequels being made over ten years after its predecessor.
So I was ready to bash this movie hard, but to my surprise, Eh, it pretty much shared my exact thoughts on The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where it’s very unnecessary in its existence but what keeps it going are its characters. And like I said before, the family still manages to get some laughs, despite the fact the movie itself is very dated.
The humor itself is the kind that would be on a sitcom from the 90s or 2000s like Seinfeld, Mad About You, or Friends, but as cheesy at it is, it gets some giggles going, either intentionally or unintentionally. Basically if you’ve seen the first movie, you know exactly what you’re getting into here.
The film follows Toula Portokalos-Miller (Nia Vardalos-Team Knight Rider, Connie and Carla, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and Ian Miller (John Corbett-Northern Exposure, Tombstone, Sex and the City) after having a Big Fat Greek Wedding and a Big Fat Greek Life coming to grips with her teenage daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris-Labor Day, Men, Women, & Children, American Odyssey) wanting to leave for college in New York City and her family may be causing her to become a social outcast. From her dad being her high school principal, her mom showing up at P.E. class to her entire family barging into a school college fair and of course hijinks and embarrassment commence.
However, Toula and Ian’s Greek family soon realize that her parents, Gus (Michael Constantine-My Life, Roots: The Next Generations, MacGyver) and Maria (Lainie Kazan-Harry and the Hendersons, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pixels) aren’t legally married as the legal document approving their marriage has never been signed by a priest. So Toula, Ian, and Paris, with the help of Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin-Black Christmas, Anastasia, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), Uncle Taki (Gerry Mendicino-Ready or Not, The Big Hit, Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business), and the rest of the family must pull off another Big Fat Greek Wedding while helping Paris take off for college.
Overall, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 can be summed up by its title, more hijinks with a wacky foreign family, I don’t consider it a bad thing, honestly it’d be a bad thing if it was written by the folks at Happy Madison Productions, but I digress. Does this movie need to exist? No, it doesn’t, the first movie was fine the way it was, it didn’t need a sequel nor did it need a TV show, but if they had to do a sequel, I’m glad it had plenty of screen time for the family, they manage to have both goofy and quirky moments but at the same time enough touching moments to warm the heart.
But you really need to know what you’re getting into here, if you’re not a fan of 90s or 2000s style humor that you would see on a television sitcom, this isn’t your flick. But if you want something cute and harmless and get a few giggles out of you, this might be a second outing with the Greeks you might find enjoyable.