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My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the best acknowledged adventurous ball of all time, but abandoned if you admeasurement success with asinine metrics like “money.”
Despite grossing $368 actor (off a $5 actor budget!), the blur larboard about no consequence on pop culture. Heralding biographer and brilliant Nia Vardalos as the Yakov Smirnoff of the Mediterranean, the box appointment juggernaut permeated the summer of 2002 like a calefaction beachcomber that’s remembered abandoned for the annal that it broke. There are absolutely rom-coms that accept larboard a added cogent legacy—in fact, there are tweets that accept larboard a added cogent bequest (e.g., that one in which Jaden Smith asked a articulate catechism about mirrors). It was a artefact of a altered time—before video on appeal and alive complicated the indie blur business—a time back distributors could bulb a cine in theaters like it was a filly and watch it sprout money for months on end. It was three years afore Judd Apatow bankrupt through to a boilerplate admirers and afflicted the accent of avant-garde ball to article a bit added self-aware, added pointed, and added calumniating in its aisle against empathy.
And yet some things are timeless. The adorableness of ancestry is abiding in the actuality that it never changes, and new ancestors acquaint the aforementioned old jokes about it in adjustment to accomplish abiding of that. My Big Fat Greek Wedding addled a ambit with audiences in allotment because it was so candidly attuned to the continuum of tradition, the accepted difficulties inherent to the activity of reconciling the adherence of the old apple with the alternation of the new one. It was a ball as sweet, thin, and forgettable as a Hallmark card—the affectionate of cine that acquainted like it had been fabricated with a beam clue in apperception (a suspicion accepted by the actuality that Vardalos promptly leveraged her success by adapting the megahit into a brief sitcom). It was the affectionate of cine that insists aloft actuality accounting about in the accomplished tense, because not a distinct actuality has watched it in the 14 years back it came out.
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The aboriginal botheration with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (other than the actuality that it doesn’t accept a fun subtitle, e.g., My Big Fat Greek Wedding: The Reaping) is that it assumes that audiences took these conspicuously forgettable characters home with them. On the one hand, it repeats so abounding of the aforementioned jokes that it about doesn’t matter. On the other, there are abundant callbacks that it feels like Vardalos has accepted an affectionate ability of the Portokalos ancestors and all of their camp traditions.
There’s a accomplished band amid authoritative a cine for anybody and authoritative a cine for no one.
A Greek choir of aunts and uncles who assume to be able to arise whenever it’s comedically convenient, the agitator of Chicago immigrants is still up to all of their old tricks. Toula (Vardalos), a bookish everywoman whom we aboriginal met as the put-upon babe of two oppressively Greek parents, is now advantageous it advanced as she raises a babe of her own. Ah, the amphitheater of life. Back she’s not volunteering at her kid’s aerial school, Toula can be begin chauffeuring her crumbling ancestor Gus (Michael Constantine) to his assorted medical accessories and affliction her sexless home activity with her cosmically banal husband, Ian (John Corbett).
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Gus and his ability wife Maria (Lainie Kazan) are already pressuring Toula’s babe to acquisition a Greek husband. But then, an acrid twist! It turns out that Gus and Maria’s alliance authorization was never active by a priest (oops), and so technically they’ve been active in sin for the aftermost 50 years. Theirs is the “Big Fat Greek Wedding” of the title, or at atomic it will be if Gus can arouse his long-dormant adventurous ancillary and prove to Maria that he absolutely wants to be with her—one of abounding casting associates who are reprising the roles they originated in the aboriginal film, the 88-year-old Constantine does austere yeoman’s assignment as he carries the accomplished blur on his angled amateur and on the backbone of his puppy-dog eyes. It all leads to a analytic absorbing arrangement in which three ancestors of Portokalos women slow-dance with their corresponding paramours as John Legend(opoulos) croons over the soundtrack.
Yes, alike Toula’s babe gets in on the action. Inexplicably called Paris (Elena Kampouris), she’s a high-school chief who’s disturbing to adjudge whether she should go to academy at adjacent Northwestern or leave her ancestors for the alien wilds of New York University. Her bind reaffirms that both of the My Big Fat Greek movies are ultimately about compromise, about the things that we charge lose—or the traditions that we charge loosen—in adjustment to accomplish our own accord with this life. Through actuality a daughter, Toula learns that alliance doesn’t accept to beggarly the end of romance; through accepting a daughter, she learns that an abandoned backup doesn’t accept to beggarly the end of parenthood.
These niceties ability beggarly article if they weren’t so generic. In fact, for a blur that promises to analyze a actual specific association (and then, as per the title, a specific attitude aural that specific community), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is broader than Donald Trump’s all-embracing policy. I’m abiding there are alive smiles of acceptance that are aloof actuality for bodies aloft in acceptable Greek families, but it’s adamantine to feel like you’re missing any of the jokes back every bite band is about accounting out on cue cards. Prioritizing admission over insight, Vardalos writes jokes the aforementioned way that the New York Post writes horoscopes, and her cine should prove relatable to immigrants, their children, their grandchildren, anyone from a ample family, anyone who has anytime had parents, and anyone who has anytime accepted a ancestor (not alike necessarily his or her own). There’s a accomplished band amid authoritative a cine for anybody and authoritative a cine for no one, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 drives a minivan appropriate over it.
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Perhaps that’s the point, that all American accouchement of immigrant families feel as admitting they’re abandoned in their suffering, back in actuality the abstraction that we all charge abide hardly altered shades of embarrassment is allotment of what holds this country together. And that’s a nice thought, but Vardalos bank abroad so abounding layers of specificity that her characters ultimately aren’t alike bodies so abundant as they are ample punching bags. That access ripples through the casting all over again: Andrea Martin (the arch Aunt Voula) is still played by an extra whose Armenian grandparents confused to the U.S. from Turkey, but I assumption anybody is Greek at the end of the day. The film’s cellophane attempts to account that alterity are so clumsy and brief that you ambition they wouldn’t accept bothered: John Stamos (the artisan aforetime accepted on Full House as Jesse Katsopolis) is a amazing decay of time as a handsome bounded anchorperson whose son is a adventurous anticipation for Paris.
You ambition they hadn’t agitated aggravating to amend the jokes, either. Some business about teaching Gus how to use a computer so he can apprentice article on Ancestry.com (or its nonunion equivalent) is a C artifice that never goes anywhere. At one point, Toula’s nephew complains that the chat spanakopita was autocorrected to spina bifida on his homework. On the ablaze side, the Windex jokes are kept to a minimum.
It ability assume assured that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is such a abandoned banknote grab, but it’s adamantine to altercate that the movie’s actuality isn’t accurate by its focus on the casual from one bearing to the next. Actuality is a cine that encourages you to accord it the account of the agnosticism at every accessible about-face but has no absorption in alms annihilation in return. If you admired the original, you’ll like this one less. If you abominable the original, may God be with you. Opa!
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