I really enjoyed doing my last movie review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I decided to continue with the next movie that I watched. That movie happened to be My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I know it’s a huge difference from the first movie that I reviewed, but that’s the thing about me. I don’t just stick to one genre of movies and I actually enjoy just about every genre so you’ll be seeing a lot of different movies from a bunch of different genre’s for this movie review thing. Anyway, onto the review.
I have to say that I absolutely loved the first movie. It’s one of those movies that I watch whenever I catch it on and have been known to throw in the DVD of it from time to time. When I had first heard about there being a second one so long after the first one came out, I was pleasantly surprised but I also kept my expectations extremely low knowing that sequels aren’t always the best.
Picking up just about 17 years later, Toula, still somewhat happily married(?), is now dealing with the fact that her daughter, Paris, is about to go off to college and is starting to have this empty nest syndrome. Not only is she dealing with that, but her family, mostly her parents, have been even more dependent on her than ever since the recession hit and basically all their other businesses expect the restaurant are closed. Don’t they have two other kids? They do but it’s like they’re non-existent since it’s always Toula this and Toula that. Of course she can never say no because she’s Greek and this is how a Greek family operates which is similar to an Italian family, which is why I can relate to Toula’s struggle of doing her own thing and then bending to the every whim of her family while trying to deal with her own things.
I was surprised to see that while the main plot was Toula basically finding herself again since she starts off as the dumpy Toula that she was in the first movie before transforming into the Toula that we left off with at the end of the first movie, there were also a bunch of smaller sub plots that took place during the course of the movie. One of the first main sub plots was that Gus and Maria are actually not married. It turns out the priest didn’t sign off on their marriage certificate so they aren’t married. They’ll play this game of cat and mouse as Maria wants an actual proposal and an actual wedding whereas Gust just wants to be married. Then there’s the fact that Aunt Voula’s son Nick has been hiding the fact that he’s gay. Aunt Voula, being a mother, already knows this as most mothers do. It’s just about Nick coming out and introducing his partner to his family. There’s also the fact that Gus has now come up with the brilliant idea that he’s somehow related to Alexander the Great.
This movie, while funny and touching at times, just felt like a huge mash up of playing catch up. Every family member was shown and you were given just a brief update on where they were and what they were doing. It was a lot to process in a very short hour and a half time period. I felt like there was just a lot going on and not enough time to show everything. I understand that when doing a sequel with memorable characters, that everyone wants to see what’s going on in that characters life and / or how they changed over the years, but with a cast as big as this movie it was nearly impossible to do in the amount of time that they had to do it in. Then there was the fact that they introduced two new characters, who I didn’t even bother to learn who they were, played by John Stamos (eye roll) and Rita Wilson (no surprise since Tom Hanks produced it). They had two brief scenes that really made no sense and took away from what could have been more time spent on Toula’s family.
Even though years and years have passed since the first movie, the family was still basically the same and anyone with a large family can relate to the different characters because just about every large family like that has one. The acting was just superb and on par with the first movie which was this little sleeper hit that no one really expected. While the writing for the movie was good, it just felt like the well was a little dried up for Nia Vardalous. This wasn’t the worst movie that she wrote, I Hate Valentine’s Day was, but it wasn’t her best either. Every writer has their good and bad spots and this just wasn’t her best, it’s as simple as that. The fact is that it doesn’t take any credit away from the first movie which was an absolute work of art or the other movies that she wrote, like Connie and Carla and Larry Crowne.
Overall I give this movie a 2.5 out of 5.
While it wasn’t really on par with the first movie, it was nice to be reminded of the first movie and have a little bit of a check in on how the characters were doing and what they were up to all these years later. Seeing that while most of them changed but also stayed the same was refreshing in a way and the movie still had those funny moments along with the touching ones. The problem I had with the move was that it was so short and so much was crammed into it that not every sub plot got the attention that it needed to fully succeed. I would say that if you liked the first movie, you’ll probably want to see this one but I would just say to not expect all that much from it. If you weren’t a fan of the first movie, or never seen it, because maybe you live under a rock, then I would say to give a pass on this one.