In 2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a popular audience hit. A comedic tale of finding love amongst a large Greek family, it made a star out of actress Nia Vardalos. Fourteen years later she returns for the sequel retaining most of the original’s charms. Although lightning rarely strikes twice for sequels with some tarnishing their forebears’ credentials, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 proves an amiable time-waster sure to enhance its predecessor’s allure.
Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are having a tough time handling their teenage daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris). Facing the pressure of marital life, Toula longs to return to the idylls of their first meeting. Salvation arrives when another Greek wedding surfaces. Focussing on making it an event to remember, Toula’s family turns her world asunder. The path to marital bliss becomes rocky as the huge wedding becomes a never-ending circus.
Whilst occasionally indulging in sugary sentiment, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is generally amusing. Targeting heightened escapades rather than genuine reality, it still has authenticity due to its familial theme. ‘You can choose your friends but not your family’ is well highlighted with Toula’s quirky tribe a good mix of personalities. Each has their moment to shine in the plot’s increasing silliness. Although there may be too many to keep track, their solidarity in times of crisis is pleasing in an era where cinematic families are usually seen in a more cynical light.
Vardalos ensures her script keeps the momentum going with her chemistry against screen husband Corbett genuine. Her co-stars all put in fine performances in very sketchy roles showing good comic timing. Those from large families will know exactly how Toula feels with some cringe-worthy moments providing nice laughs. There isn’t any crudity, with the focus on wit and sly humour welcome. Despite the gap between films making it initially difficult to re-engage with the characters, events pick up due to some clever writing and acting.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a diverting comedy worth seeing. Although some set-pieces go a little too far in search of laughs, this latest comedy of Greek errors should soften the hardest of souls.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7