When I walked into this movie, I went with the knowledge that it was not going to be near as good as the first one. When I first saw the trailers a couple months back, I may have been the only one who thought “Oh great… what could they do to bastardize the original movie?” Everyone else around me seemed so excited; maybe they haven’t been struck with perpetual pessimism as I have.
Heck, when I first started watching chick flicks with my mom to avoid watching sports with my father and brother, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the first movie my mom showed me that I actually loved. It was such a phenomenon that it sparked it’s own TV show that lasted a grand total of seven episodes.
So I went into this film preparing to divorce myself from how I felt about the first movie and instead trying to judge it on it’s own.
And even then, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 contains more disappointments than it does successes. And that’s not to say that there aren’t things that I didn’t enjoy about this film. Half of the scenes were good and reminded me about why I loved all of these characters, but the other half was filled with obnoxious and forced scenes.
What is impressive about this movie is that as far as I know, they managed to get the entire cast back together. Not one person was missing from the entire ensemble that is Toula’s family. Of course, they benefited from the fact that nobody in the entire cast really did anything truly significant after the first movie, but I still am surprised that they managed to pull it off.
The best scenes and funniest lines are from Gus and Maria, the overbearing parents of Toula; and Voula, the crazy Aunt. Not only do they have the best pieces of dialogue, but they also are the three best actors in the movie by far. When any of those three were in the scene, there was a massively better chance of the scene being good.
Unfortunately, some of the premises, and at least half of the humor, in this film simply do not work. Lots of the jokes just seemed really forced and unnecessary. A lot of comedies these days seem to build around obvious jokes that are lazily constructed and just play off the premise that someone or something is quirky. MBFGW2 does this so often and it became such a shame to witness. When I’ve seen this kind of humor in at least 90% of all comedies and romantic comedies I’ve ever seen, I can only ask when do movie writers expect the jokes to stop being funny?
What made the first movie so great is that they seemed to have an understanding that they needed to build the quirky family dynamic around the story, but the story was still the driving force of the narrative. With this second installment, they switched priorities and built the story around the quirky family dynamic. And that’s mainly because the story itself really doesn’t have much to offer. The first movie seemed to have an obvious reason as to why I should care about what I’m watching. The second one simply seems to say, “Well, here it is again.”
I should also note that the daughter character was not all that great. Her character does get better during the second half, but she is definitely one of the weakest characters of the ensemble.
With all that being said, I was enjoying myself enough watching this sequel. All of that changed during the ending, which actually made me angry. If the ending wasn’t so terrible, I would have considered rating this film above average, but the ending sort of killed it for me. I won’t spoil anything, don’t worry.
There is still enjoyment to be had if you watch this. The film still has bits and pieces of the joy and heart that many of us loved about the first movie. Unfortunately, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is weighed down by the rest of it’s parts. When the movie ended, there was a group of ladies behind me that said “Well… that was really disappointing.” The group in front of me, however, gave an excited applause. I feel that I am somewhere in the middle, and I’m giving this movie a 5 out of 10.