My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2CultureCinemaMovie reviews
Directed by Kirk Jones (of Nanny McPhee), written by lead actor Nia Vardalos, and shot in suburban Toronto, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is an enjoyable slapstick comedy about the adventures and foibles of a Greek family in Chicago. A sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, directed by Joel Zwick, the film continues the story of the union between Greek-American Toula (Nia Vardalos) and an Anglo-American Ian (John Corbett) and their life surrounded by a large Greek family. This time it is Toura’s mother and father (Lainie Kazan and Michael Constantine) who wed, after discovering they were never actually married.
Now mother to a rebellious teenager, Toura confronts multi-tasking, caring for ageing parents, empty nest syndrome and reviving a lacklustre marriage. Toura’s daughter, Paris, is well played by Elena Kampouris as a teen typically frustrated by a well-meaning but overbearing family and a doting, embarrassing mother. Paris contends with omnipresent grandparents Gus and Maria (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan), and large collection of aunts, uncles and cousins, who seem to follow her everywhere. The family patriarch, Gus, is convinced that everyone in the world was originally Greek, and dreams of proving he is directly descended from Alexander the Great.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 touches on issues of prejudice, when a group of neighbours openly mocks the family. But, in keeping with the positivity of the genre, resolution and unity are inevitable, as the critics are admonished, then invited and included. Feminism adds another note to this sequel, with some girl power in Paris’ quest for independence, and in Maria’s questioning of the necessity of marriage, pondering the options she might have had.
Vardalos and Corbett have great chemistry as a romantic couple, as do Kazan and Constantine (88 years old, to his credit) as their wacky parents. The entire cast is effective and very funny. Andrea Martin, as the dramatic and emphatic Aunt Voula, contributes a particularly strong accent of humour to the film.
To those who have seen the successful original, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this sequel might lack freshness, however, the storyline and dialogue are very humorous and entertaining in their own right. The genre is romantic comedy, and as such it works: it is emotionally cathartic and it makes you laugh. This romp about family unity, Greek-style, is a fun, feel-good movie with a heart.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is released nationwide on 25th March 2016.
Watch the trailer for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 here: