10 April 2017

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (starring Nia Vardalos)


Sequels to films can be a disappointment, so I didn’t take much notice when I heard that ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ was being produced. It didn’t even have an original title; we very much enjoyed the first ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, but I expected that this version would be a pale imitation, or perhaps the same over again.

However, reviews were favourable, so when the DVD became available and the price wasn’t too high, I put it on my wishlist, and was given it for Christmas. We were hoping to see it with our younger son but he’s not been around for a while, so last night we watched it with some friends who also liked the first film.

The story involves the same family, but takes place ten years after the epilogue to the first film. Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are still happily married, although they don’t see much of each other; their daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) is now 17, and starting to look at university applications. Her grandparents want her to marry a Greek boy, but, like her mother, she wants to be independent and make her own decisions.

The ‘wedding’ in this movie takes place towards the end and turns the story upside down; it’s an amusing twist, although most of the reviews I had read gave spoilers, so I knew it was coming. It didn’t matter, really; the preparations, and the closeness of the Greek family remain amusing, with interludes in the family restaurant, and a couple of episodes where even small children have fun trying to find Greek derivations for words in the English language.

There’s plenty of humour that made us smile, including one or two places where we laughed aloud. Greek culture is clearly caricatured, but so is American culture, and the clashes between the two are shown, although not as obviously as in the first film. And yes, there's much that's a re-hash of what worked so well in the original movie - but we didn't have a problem with that.

It’s a story about marriage, primarily; about the kind of relationship that lasts decades, moving through difficulties and arguments, finding what loyalty and long-lasting love really mean. As such I thought it quite uplifting, in a light-hearted way. Of course some of the scenes are exaggerated, although having lived for nearly 20 years in a country that’s culturally Greek, they’re not as caricatured as some would assume.

It’s also about the balance of culture and freedom, of the empowerment of women, and of the difficulties of letting go of teenagers. But they’re not issues that are pushed; they’re there to be picked up or ignored. The film moves at a good pace, and I found myself quite involved in the family dynamics, oddly disappointed when it ended.

All in all, I thought it was a good film, and pleasant for a relaxed evening’s viewing without too much brain power needed. It helps to have seen the first film, but probably isn’t essential.

Rated 12 (12A in the US) which I think is about right. While there's no nudity or violence, and I didn't notice any bad language at all, there are several suggestive scenes and references, and frank discussions about making babies that would be irrelevant and possibly embarrassing to younger children.

Definitely recommended.

Review by copyright 2017 Sue's DVD Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment