In 2002 my wife and I were dating and as was our weekly custom we would stock up on cinema snacks and head off into 90 mins of rom com. We saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding during this time and we laughed, several times in fact. Characters were enjoyable, the story worked (as well as any rom com story does), the outsider being rejected and then welcomed into the bosom of the overbearing family was a story that had heart and made us smile. It has continued to do when we catch the film on TV and has held its charm. So we sat down last night in our local cinema, popcorn in hand and looked forward to what we hope would be a happy reunion.
Sadly it wasn’t to be. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 has none of the original’s quality.
The tag line on the poster tells you really all you need to know.
‘People change. Greeks don’t’
To be more accurate it should read
‘People change. Sadly this lot haven’t’
Everyone in this film is still stuck attempting the same gags from 14 years ago. No one in the entire family has moved on the only notable exception being that Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) now have a teenage daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris). I felt a lot of sympathy for Paris as she looks at her family with great embarrassment, disdain and despair as the audience do. This family that charmed and amused me are now in 2016 loud, boorish and irritating on a massive scale.
We get to experience another family wedding as it is revealed that Toula’s parents were never officially married and the only other plot of note is the whether or not Paris stays close to home or goes away for college. Other than that there are only half-hearted attempts at humour and every character looks wearied by this enforced reunion. I only laughed twice and for a film billed as a comedy this simply is not good enough.
I left the cinema pondering if my sense of humour has changed but if the original film still works and garners laughter (certainly more than twice) then it can’t be me.
A poor story, insufficient laughter and the lack of necessity for this sequel (did anyone wonder what happened to these characters after the original?) made this a rather pointless and wasted trip to the cinema.