My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Blu-ray Review
Generally comedy sequels, and sequels in general, have critics and audiences musing over how and why it ever came about. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING was a surprise indie hit back in 2002, providing the much needed laughter we all needed after 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 comes after some R-rated comedies and well before the tragedy that is the 2016 election season. It feels like it’s late and early to the party.
Nia Vardalos, as the writer and star, once again tries to piece it all together. She’s Toula Portokalos and we catch up with her over a decade and a half later. Her handsome husband Ian (Corbett) is still as funny and charismatic as ever. She lives next door to her parents, which feels like an idea straight out of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Along with the adorable couple is their moody teenage daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), which seems like an inappropriate name for such a proud Greek family.
This sequel though isn’t about Paris’ marriage. That would be inappropriate and gross, however, her extended family likes to remind her that she needs to find a nice Greek boy and they take every opportunity to nudge her too any boy who’s Greek and looking like he’s midway through puberty. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 is about the patriarch of the family, Gus (Michael Constantine) researching his family tree to prove that he is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. Instead he finds out that the priest that performed his wedding never signed his marriage certificate. This leads to another Greek wedding, this time between Gus and Maria (Kazan).
If it wasn’t for such a sitcom set-up from I LOVE LUCY, this movie would have been a lot better. It is heartwarming, charming, and at times funny, but too much of it feels like a black and white sitcom in color. There’s also moments of unbelievability, such as Ian being the hip, cool principal. I went to a school where everyone liked the principal and it certainly wasn’t because he could pass as Fabio on a romance novel cover.
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 also suffers from the overwhelming feeling that it’s a nostalgic cash grab. So much of it purposely hinges on the fact that you’ve seen the original. It has inside jokes as well as scenarios that never happen, at least I hope. If you haven’t seen the original, you may be wondering why Gus used Windex for everything and at one point gifts someone Windex.
The budget for this sequel is well over triple the amount of the original’s budget which was a modest $5 million. It just wasn’t as successful as its predecessor. I won’t deny that fans of the original don’t like this one, but they certainly won’t feel like they’ve watched a justifiable sequel. If we’re in for another fat Greek wedding, let’s at least have her daughter grow up and give her one. I may be more in line for that, or at least as forgiving.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) It’s a very plain movie, matching the single set sitcom setting with dry background and multiple moments in the family owned restaurant. It does come through beautifully on this blu-ray though.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The soundtrack comes through clearly, but it’s not memorable.
Gag Reel (4:05): A self-explanatory feature, highlighting the fun had by the cast and crew on set.
My Big Fat Greek Dinner (14:34): A portion of the cast, including Nia Vardalos, sits down to discuss the original film and the sequel. It feels like a natural conversation, despite the forced setting, because they discuss their personal feelings and life when reminiscing about the original.
Making the Greekquel (11:40): Vardalos once again is the centerpiece of this feature, talking about the creative process and getting everyone back together for a sequel.