As an adult, have you ever watched a film you loved as a child and left the experience mildly disappointed?
If so, then I have some bad news for you.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a subpar version of the first. It somehow manages to take out all the charm and quirkiness from the original film and replace it with exaggerated jokes, a disjointed tone and a reintroduction to a family that no longer seems genuine.
Like all sequels, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 tries to be bigger and better than before. When Toula (Nia Vardalos) and her family discover that her parents are not legally married, they band together to once again pull off a big fat Greek wedding. Knowing this family, however, hijinks soon follow.
The film will make audiences laugh, but its obnoxious ways of doing so cheapen its humor. There are also multiple instances where characters become caricatures of themselves, as if they are desperate for a laugh. Toula’s grandmother in particular is a victim of this, which is a shame since the one touching moment she has comes and goes without any emotional impact.
Although the film calms down in the second half, finally reminiscent of the first film, it doesn’t save the plot from being predictable. Audiences will know how the movie ends twenty minutes before it actually does.
Toula’s role as the protagonist obstructed the story. Her arc added nothing to the humor and was ironically told by several characters to step back. Had the focus shifted to her mother, who was the bride in question, the film would have solved its predictability problem.
With wooden performances for company, the highlight of the film is Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin). Nonetheless, even she can’t save the film’s awkward and unnecessary John Stamos cameo. Not only does his appearance take you out of the film, but he is also admittedly playing himself.
I could go into detail about the dated gender roles that keep smacking you in the face throughout the entire film, or how the Greek men were portrayed as unconscionably idiotic. I could talk about how the film did a poor job in trying to simultaneously support and subvert the traditional female role in the household.
I could, but would rather avoid the headache.
In all seriousness, why some of these women are still married to these men remains a mystery.
Comedies are incredibly hard to pull off. Its not surprising that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is at best a mere shadow of the first. I would only recommend this film to those who truly need to know what happened to Toula since her wedding.
To everyone else, rewatch the original.
Better time and money spent.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was released March 25, 2016.