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|My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2|
dir Kirk Jones
scr Nia Vardalos
prd Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Gary Goetzman
with Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Louis Mandylor, Bess Meisler, Alex Wolff, Mark Margolis
release US/UK 25.Mar.16
16/US Universal 1h34
14 years later: Corbett and Vardalos
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
It's been 14 years since the original surprise hit, and this very-late sequel just about recaptures that mix of goofy charm and family hilarity. Although now the comedy feels broad and silly, and the emotion heavy handed. But there are terrific moments along the way, including some nicely observed interaction and some properly zinging one-liners.
Toula and Ian (Vardalos and Corbett) still live on the same street as Toula's outrageously over-involved Greek family, and they're now confronting the fact that their 17-year-old daughter Paris (Kampouris) will be leaving home soon. As Toula's parents (Kazan and Constantine) obsess about Paris finding a good Greek boy, they learn that their marriage was never legalised. But they bluster about tying the knot again. Meanwhile, Toula is so busy running the family restaurant, taking care of her parents and fending off her siblings that she has neglected her own marriage.
Amid a riot of family chaos, the film meanders gently through its three-pronged plot: Toula and Ian rekindling their marriage, Paris becoming independent, and Toula's parents bickering their way down the aisle. There isn't a single moment in which the audience wonders what might happen next, and each of the characters is such a stereotype that nothing they do is very surprising, although the filmmakers and actors at least have a bit of fun with most of them. Mainly it's the throwaway gags that hit the target.
As usual, Vardalos works her socks off to sell her warmly kooky character, ably supported by the charming Corbett and the sweet-spiky Kampouris. Kazan and Constantine are endearing even if their feud is unconvincing. Martin once again steals her scenes as the hyperactive Aunt Voula. As the family matriarch, Meisler is game as the too-easy punchline for non-jokes. And the lively Rita Wilson and John Stamos even pop up in a cameo as family friends, looking almost like they're hoping for a spin-off movie of their own.
Basically, the film is a mess. But that's precisely the point, because this is a story about the ruckus surrounding an extended ethnic family. The humour may not be sophisticated, and the plot-threads unambitious, but the movie oozes that cozy glow of undemanding humour that's vaguely recognisable. Although it's not something we know from real life, it's the way we imagine life would be if we lived in a nutty, cliched sitcom. Fun while it lasts, then back to the real world.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
|Laurie T, Minneapolis: "Loved it - I loved the original, and the second is silly and funny and endearing. It makes me wish I had a family like that. They would drive me crazy, but I would know someone cares!" (29.Mar.16)|
© 2016 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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