Movie Review: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” – Just Okay

Written by Caitlin Cooper April 18, 2016

my big fat greek wedding 2My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a big hit when it was in theaters over 10 years ago, and it became something of a favourite oddball romantic and family comedy. When I watched the movie, it was because I’d heard it spoken so highly of. And though it’s been awhile since I watched it, I believe I found it charming in its own way. Sometimes when a film or show has that much of a following even years later, a sequel is made. But that doesn’t always mean it should be made. I have no doubt many people will enjoy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 if they love the first film. But while I do think it has nice moments and some good comedy, mostly I didn’t get much out of the film.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 brings back Toula (Nia Vardalos) and her husband Ian (John Corbett) who now have a daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), nearing high school graduation. Their daughter feels smothered by their big Greek family, and dreams of escaping by going to a college far away. But when Toula’s parents discover a clerical mistake means their marriage isn’t valid, Maria (Lainie Kazan) wants Gus (Michael Constantine) to woo her before having a valid wedding. The story is about taking your partner for granted, making time to rekindle, and coming to accept your crazy but loving family.

“Who says a woman has to be married?”

The issue with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, for me, is the writing. But first I’ll give it credit that it does have some charm with some sweet, meaningful moments and jokes, as well as some surprising cameos. So I did like parts of it, and it did amuse me sometimes. However, overall I felt the film was all over the place. There are three plot-lines, and none of them feel fleshed out. First, Toula and Ian have forgotten how to be a couple because they’ve been parents first for years now. Though they have a sweet moment at the end of the film, we don’t see them truly make time for each other. Their daughter, Paris, is constantly told by her grandpa she needs to marry a Greek boy asap while her grandma tells her to be chaste, and struggles with her extended family constantly being around and embarrassing her. Her choice of college is vital, because it will either give her complete freedom or keep her very close to her overbearing family. She ultimately comes to appreciate her crazy but loving family, and unintentionally meets and falls for a Greek boy at school (though he makes her feel better about her family because he understands it). That plot is convenient, but I did like it. The plot that’s the main focus and also probably the weakest in its execution is that of Toula’s parents. There’s nothing wrong with Maria wanting Gus to show appreciation and love for her when he just expects her to do things and be there, but Gus says some truly horrible things about her and while some of it seems intended to be funny it wasn’t funny. And when Gus gets hurt, Maria decides she won’t go to the hospital unless he proposes which is manipulative and cruel (and rather undermines the “happy ending” if you ask me).

my big fat greek wedding 2

There’s actually nothing wrong with the acting in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. In fact, that’s one of the things the film really has going for it. The cast is great, and together they form an odd yet endearing family (despite my issues with the screenplay this time around). Vardalos plays her character with ease and the right touch of awkwardness, heart, and comedy. Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula stands out as the wacky but supportive aunt. She adds a lot to the comedy of the film. Alex Wolff as Bennett, Paris’ crush, is a good counterpart to Paris; the two help balance the film’s crazier characters.

“Why do you want to leave me?”

Sure, this series is beloved, and it certainly has its moments, but I think My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a sequel that tries and fails to maintain the same charm of the first film. The story mirrors that of the original, but feels a little flat this time. The writing doesn’t feel fleshed out enough, but the acting is good. I’m sure some people will enjoy this film, but it’s not a film I can see myself watching again.

My Rating: 5.5/10

my big fat greek wedding 2

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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