Perhaps I lose my man-card admitting I liked the first Greek Wedding movie. It was a bit like a sitcom, but had enough jokes that worked and it’s heart was in the right place. The couple had nice chemistry, and it was fun getting to know Toula (Nia Vardalos).
I finally got around to seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and my girlfriend suggested we take another couple, and have greek food at a restaurant right next to the Angelika Film Center on Carmel Mountain Road. The food was great. The film was not. In fact, I’d rather have Windex sprayed directly into my eyes, then have to ever spend time watching the Portokalos family again.
Normally it wouldn’t be strange for a sequel to be made, especially since the 2002 movie made almost $370 million. Yet after the film, they did a sitcom that only lasted a handful of episodes. You’d think Vardalos said all she could with these characters. Apparently she didn’t think so, because she wrote this tired screenplay. It helps that her friends Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson could produce it (she produced the first film, too). Wilson’s song during the closing credits was the only thing I liked about this movie, although even that may have just been because I was just glad this mess was ending.
Director Kirk Jones is responsible for what was my favorite comedy of 1998 — Waking Ned Devine. He may not be responsible for this bad screenplay, but he did nothing to tone down the craziness, the obnoxious behavior, and he let gags go on way too long.
One thing that doesn’t make sense is how Toula, who was so smothered by her family, isn’t smart enough to act differently toward her daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris). Is she really that daft as to walk out of the car, chasing Paris down in front of the school, and loudly talk about things any kid would be mortified by? Or that she’d let her father Gus (the talented Michael Constantine) rag on her for not having a Greek boy in her life, and telling her she’d get old and ugly.
Paris is going through a rebellious and Gothy stage, and you can understand why she’d want to go away to college. You can’t understand why when the school is having an event with various colleges visiting the school, 25 members of her family show up and cause a ruckus. It’s one ludicrous scenario after another.
There’s a slight side plot with Toula and husband Ian (John Corbett) not being as romantic as they once were. They certainly didn’t have any chemistry, and it didn’t help that Toula just stares at him. It’s such a dopey look on her face, and one of the many things I disliked about the movie Carol. Rooney Mara just stands around staring at Cate Blanchett. Staring at people usually doesn’t work, unless you have really expressive eyes. Neither of those actresses do.
Ian feels like his wife spends too much time fixing the family problems instead of their problems. That means we get to see them rekindle things by having sex in the car. Of course, they get caught, and that’s supposed to be funny. It’s also supposed to be funny when a volleyball hits her in the head, her glasses get stepped on by her father, or somebody says something racist. The ethnic humor got old quick.
Another story involves Gus insisting he’s a descendant of Alexander the Great. I suppose that’s supposed to be funny. The punchline to that was straight out of a Leave it to Beaver episode. Also, Gus finds out a priest never signed his marriage certificate, so he and Maria (Lainie Kazan, looking a lot like Joy Behar) have been living in sin for the last 50 years. What does that mean? You guessed it. They need to have their own big, Greek wedding.
There wasn’t any drama here, either. When a wedding planner quits, and the family rallies…you never once think the wedding won’t go off well.
When an angry brother shows up from Greece, we figure things will go okay with him. In a matter of minutes, it is. Hell, a character even comes out as gay. No ramifications there. One character acknowledges it, hugs the man, and we move on.
Nobody says anything interesting or remotely funny. Well, aside from a scene where the women are getting their hair done. It was mildly amusing listening to the advice their mothers gave them on handling the wedding night. That was about it, though.
There was bad acting, overacting, cliches, and a bunch of annoying characters running around the screen.
This is a wedding that should’ve been called off.
It gets 0 stars.