Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

Director: Kirk Jones
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Elena Kampouris, Alex Wolff, Louis Mandylor, Bess Meisler, Bruce Gray, Fiona Reid, Ian Gomez, Gerry Mendicino

The years haven't been kind to the Portokalos family. Toula (Vardalos) is still working at her parent's restaurant with a teenage daughter (Kampouris) about to graduate and a distant marriage with school principal Ian Miller (Corbett). Her parents, meanwhile, have discovered they're marriage licence was never signed, but their 50 year relationship isn't enough for Maria (Kazan) to let Gus (Constantine) get away without a little romance.

A 14-year wait, if we forget the short-lived sitcom series and Vardalos' horrible Greek roadtrip film My Life In Ruins, finally sees Vardalos return to the character that made her a star. English director Jones (Nanny McPhee, Waking Ned Devine) nicely takes over the reins and visually follows the routine of the original and despite some horrible reviews this is exactly the type of film you'd expect. Some plotlines work, others don't, but this is not something to nit-pick at. This is about family and unity and in it's own hilarious way, it succeeds.

All the original cast are welcomed back, though this time Vardalos focuses mainly on the female characters granting Martin as Aunt Voula a larger presence. Kampouris and Wolff, as the younger crowd, fit in perfectly and Meisler as Yiayia almost steals the film, as does Kazan's bad plastic-surgery. John Stamos and Rita Wilson (who also produced) are wasted in throwaway roles. We want to see the family and when they're on screen, it's still dazzling.


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