My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
As a rule, I don’t like ethnic comedy (Is Greek an ethnicity? I’m such a hopeless WASP) and I don’t like ensemble family comedy (where every star can be a star, just for showing up), and I don’t like movies about weddings. But since I’m married and have a sense of fairness, we went and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 instead of Batman vs. Superman this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 ended with Tula Portokalos and her new husband driving from their newlywed house to her parents’ ultra-Greek house (Greek columns and a portico, think your worst Parthenon nightmare) for a visit. Right next door.
Wedding 2 begins with Papa Gus (Michael Constantine) driving next door and picking up his grandchildren for school. Right next door are more grandkids to pick up. And next door to that. The rest of the movie is much the same, excess upon excess. And it is this overwhelming over-the-top-ness that makes the movie so funny, because you realize no one could make all this up. Even the grandsons, still in grade school, are playing Grandpa’s Greek Word game in the car. Pick a word, any word. They’ll break it down to its Greek roots and prove the concept came from ancient Greek culture. While Gus is playing along, he reminds his granddaughter, Paris, that her biological clock is ticking and she needs to be looking for a nice Greek boy to marry. Paris is a senior in high school.
Don’t expect another Greek Cinderella, boy meets girl marriage story. Yes, Paris meets a boy but that’s not what this movie is about. First of all, forget anything predictable in this movie except the fact there is a wedding and there are a lot of big, fat, big-, loud, old, and young Greek women, burly Greek men and lots of food and dancing. But who expects an elderly aunt to come in and tell her adult niece how to kindle romance with her husband, including the red nightie to go with it? Who knows what happens when Grandpa gets himself stuck in the bathtub? What do Greek women talk about at the beauty parlor?
So most of story is built around Tula and Ian (her non-Greek husband), and their daughter Paris, who can’t stand being in a Greek family. And then there’s her big, huge extended family, like Gremlins, who manage to get their noses into every single private event Paris has going on in her life, from school, to prom, to applying for college.
Michael Constantine, back again as Gus, the Windex-spraying patriarch of the family, is convinced he is descended directly from Alexander the Great, and sets about to prove it. His family spends hours trying to teach him the Internet so he can search his family tree. He even writes a letter to the Greek government for proof. And his daughter Tula, who got married in the first movie, alternates between trying to fix her daughter’s life and trying to let go, while fixing her whole family’s life as well.
While there is indeed a wedding in this movie, I can’t tell you who’s in it. That, I understand, is a major plot spoiler. Let me just say it brings the movie to a level I didn’t expect.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is rated PG-13 for some good-natured trashy talk and things popping out at you. Good thing it’s not in 3D, but I still wouldn’t sit too close. Be prepared to laugh out loud. Enjoy!