How dare they make an insipid sequel to a terrific surprise-hit comedy?
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a charming 2002 hit, first released into 108 theaters starring Nia Vardalos, then an unknown actress. Upon its expanded release, the movie stayed in theaters for months and months, endearing itself to a wide demographic.
I was among those who fell in love with it, from the tender romance to the quirky characters such as the dad who uses Windex to cure ailments (Vardalos’s real-life dad actually did consider Windex a cure-all after he discovered a wart was drying out when he got the substance on it).
I remember the way the movie started slowly in theaters, then caught fire at the box office as word of mouth spread about the lovable characters.
Now the characters are back, but they’re not lovable. This lazy screenplay is a waste of time, talent and money, with attempts at humor falling flat and zero character development. It’s like a TV situation comedy so bad that it lasts for only a season.
Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are back as the couple from the first film. They live surrounded at almost every moment by Toula’s family members, who have something to say about nearly every facet of each other’s lives.
This takes place about 18 years after the original movie. Toula and Ian apparently have grown apart, although we really don’t see anything close to a catastrophe brewing in their marriage. Their daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) is applying to colleges, and her parents are worried that she’ll head off to New York City instead of staying in Chicago.
Toula’s mother Maria (Lainie Kazan), and father Gus (Michael Constantine), in a ridiculously concocted plot line, find out that the priest at their wedding didn’t sign their license. Suddenly, big plans are under way for a huge wedding.
Characters keep being introduced into the movie well into the third act. Situations that are supposed to be funny are simply strange: Why would an older woman be hiding under a table, for example?
The rest of the movie shows people rushing around, bumping into each other, getting hit in the head … those flimsy excuses for comedy so familiar to anyone who ever has watched television. It’s a cartoon of a comedy rather than the real deal.
One thing is for sure: Constantine and Kazan have onscreen chemistry. These veteran actors understand how to make the most of a glance or the touch of a hand.
But one tender moment does not a movie make. Mark “Sorry — cannot attend” on the invitation to this non-event.