Movie Review: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 – OPA!
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the sequel to the 2002 highly successful hit comedy is finally here with the whole family returning for another wedding. Like most belated comedy sequels, i wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this film, i expected it to play off what made the first film successful and be relatively average. And that is more or less what we have here, in some aspects it delivers fairly well and in others it really doesn’t. One of the things i liked hearing going into this film was that the whole cast was returning and that it was being written by Nia Vardalos who also wrote the first one. It gave me some hope that it would have the same overall feeling, but it kinda didn’t in the end.
Unlike the first film, it didn’t feel like a ‘Greek’ movie for around half of it, it was more of a modern Romantic Comedy with some Greek comedy and set-pieces here and there. Structurally the films plot was kinda all over the joint. There were a lot of side-plots in this film and to be honest, there wasn’t really a main plot in the film. It kinda jumps around between the romantic stories revolving around Nia, her parents, and her daughter. Neither one took control of the film and the focus kept swapping throughout. And when the film did depart from the Greek aspect and started heading in the Rom-Com direction they just organised a couple of Greek jokes to remind you that this is still a Greek themed film, and maybe that’s where Nia Vardalos writing the film helped it but also kinda let it down. But what i really loved was just by watching this film you could tell that she loves this property, she loves the character Toula and she really didn’t want it to fail, and i love when a film is written with so much passion.
Now, the comedic aspects of the film were definitely there and there were some very very funny moments. There wasn’t really a steady flow of comedy throughout the film, it’s sort of delivered in sections here and there. Pretty much, whenever it focused on the Greek aspects of the film there were plenty of jokes, most of the time. And after seeing this film, i gotta say, there are quite a few good laughs….. if you’re Greek that is, but if you’re not and you don’t understand a lot about Greek culture, there really isn’t much here for you. Being Greek is really what made a lot of the comedy in the film actually funny. And in terms of who was delivering the comedy, the supporting cast (the entire extended family) were the ones delivering ALL of the jokes, and i mean ALL of them. Unfortunately, Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and the daughter Elena Kampouris didn’t contribute to the humour like at all, not even once from memory. They tried, they definitely tried to have them be funny but it just didn’t work at all.
But, one thing i have to give the film 100% credit for is what jokes they did provide. Like all of these comedic sequels it would have been incredibly easy to just re-use jokes from the first film and hope people laugh at them as much as they did in 2002. But this film didn’t go with any obvious joke callbacks to the first film, which i loved and more comedy sequels should do. I thought for sure they were going to make Nick and Angelo have Ian say something wrong in Greek, and they didn’t which was great. They went for new material so i admire what they did.
In the end, it isn’t nearly as good as the original film with only one running joke that may catch on, there was less of an authentic Greek feeling, and it kinda lost itself in the Romantic Comedy elements. In terms of the plot it was very unfocused jumping around a lot. But it does deliver on the comedy and there are plenty of laughs to take out of this film, mainly if you are Greek.