I’m not sure anyone was waiting for, let alone demanding, a sequel to the surprise sleeper of 2002, but it’s here just the same, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 may well please its intended audience. But like many sequels, the spark of the original film can’t be reignited so easily.
Writer and star Nia Vardalos is as likable as ever. The same can be said for most of the supporting cast, but under Kirk Jones’ direction everyone mugs shamelessly, as if playing to an audience in the second balcony instead of inhabiting a giant movie screen. Subtlety has no place here.
Vardalos’ eager-to-please character is still anchored to her boisterous Greek family…but now she’s married to the high school principal (John Corbett) and the mother of a teenage girl who finds her completely embarrassing. The girl is under family pressure to stay home in Chicago for college but she wants to get away. Meanwhile, Vardalos’ father (Michael Constantine) discovers, quite by chance, that a priest never signed his marriage license, so officially he and his spouse (Lainie Kazan) aren’t legally wed. And so it goes.
If you’re undemanding and don’t mind the visual equivalent of a relative jabbing you in the ribs on every punchline, you might enjoy yourself. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is sweet, sentimental, innocuous, and amusing at times, but the “obvious” factor colors every aspect of the film. “Opa!” indeed.