It’s been a long time coming. Finally, a sequel to the ever-popular breakout film My Big Fat Greek Wedding written by Nia Vardalos. This film that came out in 2002 was a little sleeper that was not really expected to be a big money maker. Much to the delight I’m sure of the famous couple of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who were two of the producers of the film, it did very well, grossing over $222,000,000 by the end of the year it was released! Proving that a quality story and good actors can make a classic film for all time, and that word of mouth really works to draw people into the theater.
Nia Vardalos is a comedienne who wrote a great screenplay about her Greek family. Also starring in the film with Nia is easy on the eyes John Corbett (Northern Exposure, Sex and the City), and these two ended the first film in wedded bliss.
I like that Nia did not immediately do a sequel. She let time pass and developed a really great screenplay in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) have a 17-year old daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), and she hates all things Greek, which is primarily her embarrassing extended family. She’s on the verge of leaving the nest empty for her parents when she goes away to college.
Meanwhile, Toula’s parents, played by Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan, discover they were never officially married, and this causes much distress for them, leading to another wedding to be planned and executed. Lainie Kazan is perfect as Toula’s vibrant mother Maria, and her Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) is back, never mincing words whether she’s advising Toula, Ian or Maria on the ways of love.
While the world may have changed in 17 years, some things about being Greek apparently never do. Is Gus really descended from Alexander the Great? Does everything in the modern world really stem from early beginnings in Greece?
We get to look in on Toula and Ian’s marriage as they navigate “middle-age” together. The sweet Ian remains tolerant of his Greek in-laws, as well as Toula’s over-protective focus on their daughter. There’s just enough memories and call backs to the first film to make it memorable all over again, although I think if you hadn’t seen the first, you’d still enjoy this film. It could stand very well on its own.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding II is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material. I thought it would be just another chick flick, but there was lots of laughter from the other people in the theater, and one man present was really guffawing. It is a feel good movie about the connections we make between family, spouses, and even friends. There should be more films made like this one.
I discovered that Nia Vardalos also co-wrote the screenplay for Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks, a cute little film you should check out if you haven’t already.