‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’: Mediocre with recycled humour (IANS Movie Review)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2; Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Gia Carides, Joey Fantone, Elena Kampouris, Alex Wolff, Louis Mandylor, Bess Meisler; Director: Kirk Jones; Rating: **

After 14 years of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” creating ripples at the box Office globally, this sequel was much awaited.

But like most of the second editions, this one too does not match up to expectations. In fact, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” seems more of an extension of a sloppy television show, with a wedding to reboot, than a wide-screen extravaganza.

Once again the narration takes you into the lives of the Portoklos clan, where nothing much has changed except for the family dynamics, owing to the passage of time. The families have extended and are still united, meeting frequently on any frivolous pretext.

Toula (Nia Vardalos) continues to work in her parents’ Greek restaurant and is now mother of a teenage daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) who mirrors her personality, when she was young.

Her father Gus (Michael Constantine), whom Paris fondly calls “pappous” which means grandfather, constantly nags her. Her husband Ian (John Corbett) feels that they don’t spend quality time as a couple any more.

But this time the plot pivots on a flimsy premise that sees “pappous” Gus (Michael Constantine) once again proposing to Maria (Lainie Kazan) his wife of 50 years, because their earlier marriage was never properly acknowledged by the church. So it is a new wedding with the same old planning issues.

There are numerous sub-plots that spread the narration thin and yet all of them seamlessly culminate in the overall scheme.

Actor-cum-writer Nia Vardalos’s script smacks of over-the-top and on-the-face humour. These seem to be adapted and recycled from gags and situations from other oft-seen shows and are delivered by the amiable, yet quirky characters in the film.

The characters, each one of them are stereotypical and a bit over-bearing. They stick suffocatingly close to each other, to form one big crazy family.

Some of the characters which are included from the earlier edition are: Bess Meisler as “Mana-Yiayia” – the elderly matriarch, Andrea Martin who recycles the same jokes as the wisecracking Aunt Voula; Gia Carides and Joey Fantone as Toula’s cousins and Louis Mandylor as Toula’s over-protective brother.

The new entrants apart from Elena Kampouris who plays Paris, include; Mark Margolis as Gus’ brother Panos, who journeys from Greece to attend the wedding, Rita Wilson and John Stamos as the married couple who pop by periodically.

The entire cast plays their role with sincerity and manage to make their characters likeable in the most obnoxious way.

Kirk Jones who had earlier directed films like Nanny McPhee and Waking Ned Devine, proves that he is as efficient as his predecessor Joel Zwick in creating an ethnic comedy. He does so, by effortlessly incorporating the apt comic beats and a soundtrack that cleverly includes a version of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” sung in Greek, of course.

Over all, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is mediocre fare that you could attend if you have nothing better to do.

–IANS

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