Hot Take: A lesson in knowing your audience and delivering a safe, satisfying sequel. If you were on the fence or didn’t like the original, you’ll probably completely tune out here. It’s nostalgic, warm and fuzzy.
It’s doubtful anyone was waiting patiently for a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Yet the premise of the sequel and it’s timing make complete sense within the storyline. Unlike Zoolander 2 which was stuck in development hell for years and then crammed the delay into the plot, the gap between original and sequel was deliberate in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (probably a lesson learned from the horrible television spin-off) and worked out well within the story.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 has a few flaws as the film doubles down on a lot of the humor from the original so it might be a little stale (okay, it’s a lot stale). Plus, while the story works, it isn’t all that compelling. However, the cast should be commended for turning in an ensemble performance that across the board looked like they were having fun and were committed to revisiting the past and revitalizing the close-knit family. Was there a little too much mugging? Of course! Is it a fair assessment to say that maybe they were “over the top”? Sure… but wasn’t that the case in the original, too?
As far as sequels go, it’s been rough in 2016. So, maybe this review is being too soft on this harmless and more entertaining than not follow up to one of the more amazing box office stories of all-time (it ran for 52 weeks, FIFTY TWO!). After suffering through sequels to Ride Along, Zoolander, Olympus Has Fallen and Divergent, can you blame me?
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Something Old, Something Borrowed
The sequel feels like a victory lap in celebration of what the original was able to accomplish. It never has the feel of a cash grab or that anyone is going through the motions as the film briskly revisits what worked before and takes very few risks but the cast sure looks like their having fun.
- Something New
Elena Kampouris is introduced as Paris, the daughter of Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett). She’s occasionally lost in this overstuffed serving of Greekness but adds to the sequel. Maybe in 5-10 years, she’ll be the central character of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. What? You don’t think they’ve already thought about it?
- Something Blue
Andrea Martin’s Aunt Voula has some pretty odd and funny ideas about what is sexy.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- There’s Nothing Really Fresh or New
Same family, same jokes. Maybe a little bigger and louder but still pretty much the same.
- John Stamos
This felt like, “Hey, I’m Greek! Why wasn’t I in the original?”