People change. Greeks don’t. This is the tagline for the sequel to the surprise 2002 hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which also serves as an inadvertent summary of the film’s main problem – that we’ve seen the exact same thing before, only done much better.
The sequel opens with the same line as its predecessor, as the patriarch of the Portokalos family tells his seventeen-year old granddaughter that she looks old and needs to get married soon. It’s the first of many plays on some of the original’s best jokes, which start off as little winks to those in the loop but quickly turn into the exact same joke, word for word, that felt much more original and fresh in 2002 than they do now.
In spite of its tagline, some things have changed this time around; Toula is now a mother dealing with her daughter flying the nest, whilst it’s her parents who are this time walking down the aisle after discovering they were never officially married. It’s in these slight changes to plot that his sequel really works, with Nia Vardalos’ brilliantly witty writing dealing with parenthood and old age. It’s only when the film feels content with going over old ground that it really begins to wear thin.
At times, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 feels more like a remake of the first as opposed to a sequel. It’s the same joke, except with increased roles from fan favourites of the first – Aunt Voula and Yiayia are given a lot more to do this time – with the same messages as the first film. That said, it plays fantastically well to its target demographic – I saw it in a screening full of older women who were in hysterics – and isn’t without its charms. If can look past its lack of originality and flaws, it passes the time nicely and is quite lovely in places. Unlike its predecessor, however, it is instantly forgettable.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com