My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2: Film Review
Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Elena Kampouris, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine
Director: Kirk Jones
It's not easy being Greek, as a paraphrased amphibian might once have intoned.
And it's certainly not easy following up a sleeper hit from nearly a decade and a half ago (just ask Zoolander 2 about that same problem).
This time around, Nia Vardalos' Toula is suffering from feeling like she is in a rut, is smothering her own daughter Paris and is struggling with a lack of spark within her marriage to John Corbett's Ian as she tries to juggle the incessant chirping entourage of her family.
But, she barely has time to herself, when it is revealed her parents Gus and Maria weren't actually married properly a half century ago.
So, when Maria decides to enjoy some freedom and Gus decides to pursue the route to arrogance, it is up to Toula to work on the old adage of family and that "just when she thought she was out, they pulled her back in again".
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a Greek tragedy by all accounts, a retro movie that is of its time and that fails in its quest to achieve its former glories.
Sure, the old messages and time honoured tropes of finding time for yourselves later in life, of letting your siblings free to live their own lives and of loving family for all their foibles are all there on show. There are even lines like "We Greeks see no difference between hugging and strangulation" to give insights into the over-bearing nature of family and Toula's in particular.
But they are whipped together and put through the tiresome microscope of attempts to reflect Greek cultures that feels particularly strained and weak this time around. The biggest problem is a script that appears over-stuffed yet bizarrely enough, under developed. Also it's the weak humour that relies on punch line of extended family appearing to embarrass and it soon becomes increasingly tiresome. It really is a case of "Abandon all Opa ye who enter".
If anything, even Vardalos looks tired and weary in parts of the film that increasingly relies on the older end of the family to drive any semblance of a paper-thin plot and they flounder, delivering growing elements of an entirely weak and utterly predictable sentimental plot that fails to hit any of the right notes. The world has moved on and in many ways, this film feels like it's been left behind.
I'm willing to concede that perhaps an older audience looking to be mildly engaged by the likes of this retro film will find something in it to enjoy.
But the escalating squabbling and over-bearing nature of the whole family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 helps it shake off the earnestness and charm of the first film, and leaves you with a feeling that this is one Greek feast you don't want to repeat on you.