by Adam Riske
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a pleasant, energetic and sweet movie. It’s not nearly as good as the original, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed being in the company of the film’s characters once again. The sequel is basically fan fiction for admirers of the first movie, so if you like the first Greek Wedding you’ll probably be predisposed to thinking this new entry is decent. If you didn’t care for the first one, there’s very little reason for you to watch the second. I saw the movie with my mom and when I looked over at her a couple times while it played she had a grin on her face. As simple as this deduction is, I think I like the movie if for no other reason than that.
The plot in brief: The Portokalos family is back and zanier than ever. But when Toula’s (Nia Vardalos) parents (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) find out they were never officially married, another wedding goes into the works.
But the movie has some problems to be sure. Too much time is spent on cracking jokes at the expense of the family’s great grandmother, who sort of becomes this series’ version of Lurch in The Addams Family movies. The subplot about the second wedding is dumb. It would have made more sense to have the wedding be for the character who is gay or for Toula and Ian’s (John Corbett) daughter – who in this movie is 17 years old despite the original movie coming out 14 years ago. The gags don’t flow as easy as they did the first time out either mainly because the element of surprise is gone. For example, none of the Windex jokes land this time despite the fact that I laughed at almost all of them in the first movie and a subplot about Michael Constantine’s character maybe being related to Alexander the Great doesn’t reap any dividends. I wish the movie was shot in Chicago too, since it takes place there (this one was shot in Toronto). And lastly, the John Stamos cameo makes no sense and adds nothing. It’s as if he just wanted to be in the movie and he’s Greek so the filmmakers shoe-horned him in there.