It has been 14 years since the world was first introduced to the beloved, “big, fat and Greek” family that took the rom-com box office by storm.
The low-budget indie film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” told the story of a Greek-American woman who fell head-over-heels for a non-Greek man. Always commanded to “marry a Greek boy, make Greek babies and feed everyone” until the day she dies, the news came as a disappointing shock to her suffocating parents and her loud, invasive relatives.
Creator Nia Vardalos, also cast as main character Toula Portokalos, said although the film was based on her own family and experience marrying a non-Greek man, she was struck by how many people found her story recognizable.
“It’s so wild how it translates to all cultures no matter where, people say to me, ‘That’s my family,’” Vardalos said in an interview with BBC News.
One of the most quoted movies of all time, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was always a candidate for a sequel. Finally, a follow-up film has been made, reuniting the entire original cast as well as bringing back producers Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
Fourteen years later, audiences were clearly interested in another round of comedic family shenanigans. After its premiere on Friday, the sequel matched its production budget in the first three days of domestic release.
Most sequels feel much different from the original movie with new places and people; however, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is full of familiar faces. The returning cast not only includes Vardalos but John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Louis Mandylor and many more. A few other actors such as John Stamos and Alex Wolff were also added to the cast.
When I saw the first preview of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” I was very excited. Recognizing the entire cast from the first movie, I was immediately impressed. Sequel reviews almost never applaud the production, so I was not going to let the negative comments from dozens of online publications persuade my opinion.
I saw “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” this past Saturday with no expectations, and I was content with the final product. Obviously, nothing will live up to the first movie, but it was fun to see what became of each character’s life.
The storyline is again focused on the chaos of Toula’s family. The relationship with her husband seems to have lost its spark, and dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter who clashes with Greek traditions has been hard on her marriage. On top of that, Toula must contend with aging parents and the endless needs of cousins and friends. When a shocking family secret comes to light, the entire Portokalos clan makes plans to come together for an even bigger and fatter Greek wedding than before.
The warm and witty comedy referenced many of the family’s funny quirks and sayings that audience members adored in the first movie.
A timeless production signifying the importance of family and heritage, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” will always be cherished by millions. The second part of the story is a reminder that although balancing a busy life and family is not easy, it is definitely worth it. Three stars and an “Opa!” from me.