[image courtesy of imdb.com]
By: Liam McGurl @Liiiammm1996
If you ask Gus Portokalos, Windex can fix anything. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than Windex to fix My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
The sequel to the 2002 box office hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding stormed U.S. theaters on March 25, ringing in a smorgasbord of long-time Greek Wedding fans and newcomers to the Joel Zwick classic.
As expected, the Kirk Jones follow-up continued the larger-than-life Portokalo family’s story, resurrecting some of the first installment’s signature jokes—and deteriorating cast acting abilities.
Unfortunately, Greek Wedding 2‘s “comedy Bundt cake” tasted bland, juxtaposed to the original film, because of its commonplace, reunion movie set-up.
Not surprisingly, the film’s characters haven’t changed much coming into Greek Wedding 2: Toula’s still awkward (and regretfully working at Dancing Zorba’s), just as Ian’s suaveness hasn’t died down; Maria still runs the house—even if Gus doesn’t think so—and Aunt Voula is as sex-charged as ever. And there’s no shortage of prideful Greek history lessons on Gus’ behalf, too. In reality, there aren’t any jaw-droppers in the character’s 14-year progressions—with the exception of Angelo’s coming out.
The biggest, and possibly only, bombshell of the film was the elderly side of its dual, romance plot.
Greek Wedding 2 mainly focuses on Toula’s daughter, Paris, who’s landed herself in a similar situation to that of her pushover mother—grappling with her Greek identity and fighting against Gus’ persistence in helping her find a “nice, Greek boyfriend.” Paris, an introverted high school senior, is beginning the college application process, trying to dream big while her family dreams of keeping her close to home. Regardless, Paris’ prospect is New York University and she’s determined to push past her unavoidable familial embarrassment—which, as we saw in the first installment, turns into an appreciation for her Greek heritage.
On the other hand, though, a good chunk of the plot is focused on Gus and Maria’s relationship, troubled by differing opinions regarding the failed signing of their invalid, multi-decade-old marriage license. In typical Gus fashion, the family patriarch passes off their lacking marital status, but Maria demands that she gets a proper, Greek wedding experience. Needless to say, Maria—the “neck” to Gus’ “head”—gets her way.
Even if the elderly couple’s marriage was just a ploy to live out the film’s name, it was still the film creators’ most successful move; the couple’s marriage allowed for the introduction of Gus’ long-lost brother—no less hot-headed than he—and some familial wedding drama. As her parents make their way to the altar, and the post-vow Baklava, Toula finally puts her own happiness first—adding some Voula-esque sex drive into her growingly monotonous relationship.
From the family’s elders’ attempts to understand modern technology—a sure headache on Toula’s part—to the recycling of Greek Wedding’s most-quoted-jokes, Greek Wedding 2 served an agreeable blend of modern nuances among traditional humor. Even if it’s not a deservedly acclaimed addition to the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, Greek Wedding 2 was a “good enough” follow-up, deserving of a muted “Opa!”