My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2 stars)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Over-egged sequel to the Oscar-nominated rom-com that reunites the original cast

The unique Greek-American family experience is dissected once again in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the sequel to one of the biggest sleeper hits in film history. Fourteen years on, its star and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nia Vardalos is back as Toula. Equipped with the personality of a doormat, she’s still married to her dishy non-Greek husband Ian (John Corbett) and is saddled with a sulky daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), her ageing parents, Gus and Maria (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan), and an ever-present extended family. Although more lurchingly formulaic than the first, the sequel gets top marks for luring back the entire main cast, guaranteeing some nice turns in its 94-minutes.

However, 17-minutes in and we’re already tired of hearing Gus go on and on about sex, fertility and the necessity of finding a Greek boyfriend for Paris. When it turns out that Gus and Maria aren’t legally wed, it layers on even more emotional upheaval. Then there’s the fact that Ian and Toula’s marriage is not as hot as it could be. Wedge in bad Anglo neighbours, a gay romance, and a band of nosy relatives and you’ve got a sequel that ticks off all the right topics but only superficially. It simply doesn’t have time to do more.

As with the original, the film is produced by Rita Wilson (who appears in a cameo) and Tom Hanks, while director Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee) adds pace to a predictable plot – giving stellar performers like comedy veteran Andrea Martin ample room to flex. Amid the supporting players is the enchanting Bess Meisler, appearing again as the great grandmother with spirit. Although it’s not as feisty and fresh as the first film, this scattershot follow-up at least has its moments – but, as it opens against Batman v Superman, its box office runs the risk of being a Greek tragedy.

General release from Fri 25 Mar.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

  • 2 stars
  • 2016
  • 1h 34min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Kirk Jones
  • Written by: Nia Vardalos
  • Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine

Fourteen years on, Toula (Vardalos) is back, still married to husband Ian (Corbett) and with a sulky daughter (Kampouris) in addition to her ever-present family. Lurchingly formulaic and stuffed with more story than it can handle, it has its moments but it can hardly hope to meet the success of the original film.