A Stale Dish: Our Review of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 24, 2016
A Stale Dish: Our Review of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’

Is there something oddly endearing about that sequel to a movie 14 years later that none of us really ever asked for?  No, their most certainly isn’t.

While My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 certainly can’t be categorized as bad filmmaking, it commits a cardinal sin that ends up being so much worse.  It rehashes and leans on its sitcom-ish formula so damn much that more than anything it just ends up being more of a bore than anything else.

Toula (Nia Vardalos) puts everything she has into being the ultimate super mom to her teenage daughter Paris, but she may be trying a little too hard.  As her daughter tries to pull away, the relationship between her and Ian (John Corbett) has clearly lost a little of its spark and things get more difficult then she could have ever imagined as she is tasked with rekindling the spark between her parents who find out after all of these years, that do to a clerical error…they were never actually married!  While contending with the needs of her ever demanding family and trying to be a good wife and mother for her own family, the entire Portokalos family comes together again for an even bigger and fatter Greek wedding where they all learn that family is about trying your best to accept and love each other as best you can no matter where you are.

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Lacking the unique energy and vigor of the original installment, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is basically a re-hash of the same jokes from the first time around and while it sure to please some audiences it lacks the freshness and originality in its emotional arcs and all around energy that we got all those 14 years ago.

You can tell that everyone means well on this one, but it feels like such a hail Mary attempt to rekindle interest in these characters that were never all that deep to begin with.  Director Kirk Jones and star/screenwriter Nia Vardalos lean on the formula so much in this one that I am surprised that it didn’t break in half and become a parody of itself.  It caters to a very specific audience, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it all plays in such a dull and rote fashion that it is bordering on painful.  It’s competent but lowest common denominator as it doesn’t try to bring anything new to the table it rather just rehashes what we’ve already seen.

Nia Vardalos is funny and quite often underrated as a comedienne but she just doesn’t have the chops to carry an entire feature and at a scant 94 minutes there was no one who could not make this feel 60 minutes too long.  As a story arc on a 22 min sitcom, sure there is some potential here but as a feature film it just never translates.  Vardalos has great chemistry with the always likable John Corbett, but so what?  You can laugh and state how getting all these characters back for the sequel is an achievement, if you call not dying and really not having anything better to do as an achievement.  Andrea Martin is always good for a laugh and Rita Wilson and John Stamos get added just because they can be.  No one really stands out in all of this and it is a shame because there are some talented people involved in all this.

BFGW2Don’t get me wrong, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 isn’t without some charm, but it tries too hard capture the unique fun of the original which worked despite all logic as all of this material is just better suited for a sitcom setting rather than a feature length film.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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