#REVIEW: “MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Everyone has one…you know…you’ve had a bad day and just need to decompress so you watch a familiar Movie that will make you smile as the tensions of the day melt way. A favourite of mine has always been the 2002 Oscar-nominated My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Despite the nationality in the title, the story and family dynamics remain universal. Take away the food and I experienced the same thing annually: my own My Big Fat Polish Christmas Eve Dinner!
14 years later and, thankfully, not a lot has changed in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2. Toula and Ian (Nia Vardalos and John Corbett) are still married though the romantic sparks had diminished somewhat. Their ready-to-graduate-from-high-school daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris) is continually embarrassed by her family and expresses her disdain with overly made-up eyes and the wish to go to a college far, far away from home. Gus (Michael Constantine), the family patriarch, still thinks Windex is a cure-all and that he is the direct descendant of Alexander the Great. His wife Maria (the great Lainie Kazan) remains the voice of reason. And there’s always Aunt Voula (comedy genius Andrea Martin) to provide her brand of sexualized wisdom. Yes, the whole gang is back which include Joey Fatone (whose character has a secret of his own!), Gia Carides and Louis Mandylor and they’re as funny and direct as we remember them. And, yes, there IS another wedding that’s even bigger than the last one!
I have mad respect for Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay. This Movie is not a vanity project and, other than the one scene she wrote for herself, giving her character that famous Cher transformation in a Moonstruck moment, she generously gives the bulk of the comedy and absolutely hilarious lines to her cast mates, allowing Constantine, Kazan and especially Martin to shine. Collectively, these three pros give magical performances that made me laugh and wish I had some baklava! Newcomers Kampouris and Alex Wolff (as Paris’s love interest and real life brother of actor Nat Wolff) also register nicely in this Reunion Flick.
Everything works in this concise, just a tad over 90 minute Movie. Whereas, it is a Sequel, the stories are contained and audience members who had not met the Portokalos family in the original Movie will enjoy it as much and those who are revisiting old friends. Personally, I loved seeing the Toronto locations which include the family restaurant and the families’ overly decorated homes. Furthermore, how could anyone not love a Movie that includes the Billy Idol classic, “White Wedding” sung in Greek in the soundtrack!
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 works on every level and does it beautifully. Universal Pictures Canada release Friday, March 25, 2016. OPA!!!!