'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2' Review: Just Not The Sequel You'd Wished For
More like a light-hearted family drama trying hard to stand up to its prequel, but still thriving on the same old characters, same elements and definitely the same pace.
Director: Kirk Jones
Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Elena Kampouris, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine
After having a delightful experience of watching 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', you obviously walk in with your expectations almost sky high as its sequel hits the theater. Released in 2002, the film was a breath of fresh air, but its sequel being released 14 years after is already way too late. While the first part went on to become a favorite for many, the sequel is not as great. It's more like a light-hearted family drama trying hard to stand up to its prequel, but still thriving on the same old characters, same elements and definitely the same pace.
The film almost picks up from where it left off and doesn’t offer much novelty this time. Toula (Nia Vardalos), Ian (John Corbett) are now parents to their teen daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) who plans to go off to another city for her education. Toula, who is busy managing a balance between parenting her daughter and babying her parents, finds that the romance in her marriage has somehow faded away. While both try to rekindle the lost romance, a secret is revealed in the family and the story further unfolds.
Just like the first part, the movie portrays a happy Greek family that stays together (adjacent, to be precise). There’s an adorable maternal grandfather (Michael Constantine) that keeps talking about how everything has its roots in Greece and tries to hitch his granddaughter to a suitable ‘Greek’ boyfriend, a bold grandmother (Lainie Kazan) who keeps warning her granddaughter to protect herself, some overprotective uncles, over-curious aunts with one aunt who thinks she knows the solution to every problem, a teenage girl sick of the family’s togetherness and nieces, nephews making their presence felt every now and now then.
The movie that opens with a substantial focus on Paris’ desire of moving away to another city takes a back seat as the film progresses and the entire focus goes on the ‘big fat Greek wedding’ which seems to just be there for justifying the title. As far as acting is concerned, the entire cast have stayed true to their characters and managed to make you smile with them. Michael Constantine as an old panda-like grandpa is too adorable! From his caring advice to him learning the use of internet to proving that he's a direct descendant of Alexander; every little detail will remind you of your own grandparents.
What this film lacks is probably the required dose of humour and a certain new touch to the old narration that should have been served considering it’s a sequel to such a brilliant franchise (coming after 14 years). There are some scenes where you’ll feel it’s a déjà-vu, courtesy the same style of narration and similar observations made about the families and married couples by the film makers. Even the acting seems to be on the same page as before, be it Nia's warm expressions or John's supportive acts.
It’s not a ‘don’t-watch’ film, but simply the kind that you might end up liking more if you catch it on television on a routine day. Perhaps, the flag name ‘sequel’ makes the film lose its charm pretty quick.