Though it’s unlikely to match the $100-plus million box office of its predecessor, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will still prove clever counter-programming for families and older audiences wanting to escape a certain cinematic battle between The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.
Whilst the film’s writer/star Nia Vardalos hasn’t found much success with her post “Wedding” projects – TV spin-off “My Big Fat Greek Life” was practically dead on arrival, and vehicles like “Connie and Carla” and “My Life In Ruins” failed to set the box office alight – she uncovers a modicum of warmth in this second telling.
Picking up 14-years after the original, in a fashion that feels like no time has passed at all, “Greek Wedding 2” finds our lovable mismatched pair Toula (Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) experiencing a rut of sorts in their marriage as their teen daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouri), desperately plots her escape from all things Greek; her ultimate course of action being the choice of colleges in another state.
With Toula and Ian going through the motions in their marriage, and Paris unsuccessful in any attempt to nab a mate of her own, the wedding in said title belongs to that of Toula’s parents – Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan) – who, thanks to an oversight during their original ceremony, have their marriage deemed null and void.
Naturally, with its sitcom premise ready at the hilt, Gus and Maria’s nuptials descend into farcical territory as wise-cracking aunt Voula (a scene-stealing Andrea Martin) takes the reigns as wedding planner and every other family member down the line assuming their own role, with mildly amusing results.
As creator of the film, Vardalos essentially saddles herself with the straight woman role, leaving the bevy of colourful characters around her to play it for laughs; Martin’s Voula standing firm as the comedic ring-leader, with Gia Carides’ gaudy Nikki earning a decent giggle or two also.
“Greek Wedding 2” won’t win over any audiences unfamiliar with the original, but it should please those fans who took a liking to this family in 2002 with Vardalos successfully reuniting the original cast; Louis Mandylor and former *NSync singer Joey Fatone return (albeit not as prominently) as the favoured sons, with Fatone’s character even earning his own arc.
A simple comedy that delivers as expected, this wedding won’t be one you need to specifically RSVP for but it’s worthy if you’re up for harmless fun at the reception.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is in cinemas from Thursday March 24. Rated PG.