The common iteration of the word “Opa” is said to mean that something is exciting or thrilling. However, if you look at the origin of the word, it comes from Greek word for “whoops” or “oops”. That seems like more of an apt interpretation of the word as My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is predictable and somewhat pointless. Whoops.
Just the idea of a sequel seems farfetched, but the original film did make $241 million. With that in its corner, a sequel doesn’t seem so strange. What is strange is, why did they wait so long? If they had intended on doing this sequel, why not strike while the iron is hot? Regardless of the reason for the delay, Nia Vardalos is back as Toula, and her family is as saccharine and in your face as they were in the first film.
What’s interesting this go round is the film’s focus is less about Toula and more about the family. In fact, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is the first true ensemble comedy of 2016. Vardalos is only a small part of the story as she shares the screen with about a dozen other characters. John Corbett returns as Toula’s husband, who’s still the subject of ribbing from his Greek relatives. Micheal Constantine and Lainie Kazan are back as Toula’s parents (Gus and Maria) and are as engaging and hilarious as they were in the first film. Andrea Martin also returns as Aunt Voula, and she’s still willing to dish out advice.
The sequel finds Toula in a midlife crisis. She’s coming to grips with the idea that her only daughter (Paris) is moving on to college. Her travel agency has shut down and the only place she can find work is at her parent’s restaurant. In the midst of work and her constant need to solve everyone’s problems, it seems that Toula and her husband have hit a rough spot.
As this drama is unfolding, Toula’s parents find out that they aren’t legally married, so they plan to fix that. Paris is starting to feel pressure from being part of such a large family that she now is talking about wanting to go to college next year thousands of miles away. This, of course, leaves her family distraught (especially her mother) and the family conspires to try and get her to stay home for College.
What was crucial in this film was the need to effectively connect various plots which each other and Director Kirk Jones does a great job with that. The film doesn’t drag at a little over 90 minutes. Vardalos’s screenplay has some sharp one-liners but is weighed down with so much predictability in the script that it detracts from the overall product.
The performances are what you’ve come to expect from this cast. Nothing completely earth shattering. Even in the face of all of these elements that detract from the film, I can’t say that I hate My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. This is the type of film where predictability is to be expected