Score: (2.5/5) ‘The second time up the aisle makes you more wary‘
Back in 2002 Nia Vardalos enchanted audiences with her tale of Toula. The Greek waitress turned travel agent who gave us a glimpse into Greek life in My Big Fat Greet Wedding. Her anecdotal stories told us, Greeks marry Greeks, eat Greek food, hang out with other Greeks and run Greek businesses. Toula flipped convention married an American called Ian (John Corbett) and lived happily ever after.
Fast forward 14 years and the entire cast are back for the sequel in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. So what’s the verdict on the follow-up? Well it’s hit and miss to be honest. It was never going to be easy to top the success of the first one, which apparently stands as one of the most successful romantic comedies of all time. It earned over a $350 million return on a budget of $5 million. Pretty impressive it has to be said.
It has a great cast. Nia Vardalos as Toula is likeable . She’s quirky, a little awkward and you want to shake her and say ‘stand up to that family of yours’. Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula is loud and brash and full on take charge, and I think we all have an aunty just like her. The cast of characters are all well-played and we even get a gay cousin (I think every family has one now) thrown into the mix this time round. The extended family relationships are loud and fun and there’s some great chemistry.
Story wise it taps into three main relationships. Toula and Ian’s marriage, which has become a little routine. Paris (their daughter) who is growing up and wants to head off to college. Toula’s parents, who, as it turns out were never legally married, which poses them the question of, why should we now? It’s an easy watch and it will give you some laughs all the same.
The original voice of the first movie is somewhat dulled down in this follow-up. The running jokes of all things Greek life get a little monotonous and you may role your eyes more than once. The film tries to deal with too many relationships all at once and ends up dealing with none properly. Sure it’s a romantic comedy but it lacked those big ‘give you all the feels’ moments.
Fans of the original will most likely head off to see it in droves but I suspect they will come out feeling a little underwhelmed. Then again the first time you go down the aisle you are filled with hope and eagerness of what is to come. Second time round, you might be a little more wary.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is in cinemas now. I’m giving it 2.5/5. It feels a bit done before and while the writing in the original was quirky and fun, this one lacks that uniqueness. Check out the trailer below.