Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Gold Ring Films)
It has been fourteen years since Nia Vardalos stole our hearts in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That was quite a while ago. And maybe in some instances absence makes the heart grow fonder, but with movies, maybe not. It isn't that we aren't glad to have all of the original cast and characters back in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, but who are they exactly?
This movie is like a big family reunion where you are seeing people you haven't seen in ages, and trying to remember who they are and what they do is causing a brain freeze -- or you might call it a senior moment. Of course we all remember Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin). She is the crazy aunt who says whatever pops into her head. Plus that nice couple Toula and Ian (Vardalos and John Corbett) are there, and everybody likes them.
Still you wonder what that Joey Fatone guy is doing in the group. Was he at the last reunion? And there are at least ten others you just can't place. Still you hear a few good jokes and catch up on some semi-interesting stories, especially about Toula and Ian's daughter Paris (Gia Carides) talking about going way off somewhere for college.
Oh, and Toula's parents Maria and Gus (Lainie Kazan and Michael Constantine) find out they aren't really married because the priest never signed the marriage license. That causes quite a stir since now Maria isn't sure she wants to get married. As if we didn't see that coming.
There are some funny moments, some touching ones too. You would have to have a heart of stone to resist Vardalos' script that tugs at your heartstrings in all the right ways. Still some of it does seem a bit forced and/or contrived. It also seems too frenetic in parts, especially in those scenes when all the family shows up for some event and start shouting. Chaos ensues.
When John Stamos and Rita Wilson appear as a new couple in the neighborhood Greek church you wonder why are these people here. They weren't in the original. With all the old cast back you definitely don't need to add two new personalities in the mix.
The movie is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material.
The movie is wholesome and loving, not that there is anything wrong with that. It also could fit into the category "suitable for mature audiences." I doubt anyone under fifty will get the full warm and fuzzy the film aims to provide.
Nia Vardalos "Greek" family is still a loud, loving one. Plus it really does benefit from having John Corbett's Ian as an in-law. He somehow makes the whole interwoven plot thing seem natural and positive. He is a good fit for this family.
Those of you who do remember the first film will want to see the gang return. They haven't changed that much. They have just added a few years, but then that is what the movie is all about. And for the oldies in the audience it is a goodie.
I scored "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" a familial 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper