director: Kirk Jones
writer: Nia Vardalos
starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett and Michael Constantine
genre: Comedy | Romance
released: 24 March 2016 (Australia & Germany), 25 March 2016 (USA), 7 April 2016 (Greece)
Before the first film's release, it felt like there was no film about Greek culture and family that you could show off easily to friends or extended family of another ethnicity to understand what it meant to be slightly Greek. Now 13 years later, we Greeks are lucky enough to get a second film to continue the fun and show even more how important family is to us Greeks everywhere and that it all begins and ends with them.
What Toula (Nia Vardalos) always wanted was to fall in love and somehow to be accepted by her family, even though she wasn't the Greekest of them all. Her wishes did come true and years later had a daughter who followed in her footsteps of wanting to be even less like her family. But the big wedding everyone is anticipating won't come from Toula's young and rebellious daughter, but surprisingly from her mother and father. Who mistakenly never had their wedding license signed by their priest. Sending a shock wave throughout the family, that only leads to another big fat Greek wedding.
The success of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' proved great for its writer-star Nia Vardalos who got chances at other professional gigs she never would have had without it. And naturally with the success of the one film, she is still trying to milk it as long as she can. This was first attempted with the failed TV show that no one ever bothered to watch and now with the sequel many years later.
Myself as a Greek naturally went and saw this film, but I am not as sure how everyone else in the world will be in the great mood to see the same film for a second time also. Granted its still funny, has a decent amount of family drama and the right sentiment is there for the story to have continued in the first place. Nonetheless, it is still a rehash of the first film, with many jokes recycled, re-packaged and dolled out.
The cast from the first film are all back and are as charming and lovable as the first time. Providing decent enough moments of sentimental drama or Greek family humor. However, more than being ecstatic about this film being made, I'm happy that the the film is centered around the wedding of the grandparents and not the most likely suspects of the children. Leading to much needed drama in a otherwise conservative and deeply traditional family environment. Thankfully, also the subplot of the daughter going back to college is handled correctly and everything by the end of the film makes sense.
There is no harm to this film existing and for whomever was a fan of the first film, will enjoy it for what it is without a problem. It just could be an issue in terms of box office return for it, during these first weeks of release. As on home video I don't doubt it will have success, but during the weekend of 'BvS' playing and also the fact that it took 13 years to make it, might not find many in the mood to reminisce the Greek experience yet again.