It's been fourteen years since writer/actor Nia Vardalos brought us My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a romantic comedy about 30-year old Toula Portokalos (Vardalos) who marries Ian Miller (John Corbett), a man outside her Greek heritage. The film was an unexpected surprise hit and is still the highest grossing romantic comedy.
Fast forward to My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 which was released earlier this year. The sequel is actually three stories in one. Toula is feeling a little stuck. All she's known for the last several years is working at her family's restaurant, caring for her aging parents and being a mom. Now her 17-year-old daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris) is getting ready to graduate high school and attend college. Feeling stifled by her Greek family, Paris has her heart set on a school on the other side of the country. Naturally, this causes quite a bit of stress on the entire family and a case of empty-nest syndrome for Toula.
"We see no difference between hugging and suffocation." ~ My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
The second plot line focuses on the lost romance between Toula and Ian. Concerned that her marriage is stale, Toula enlists the advice of her family to help bring the spark back in her relationship. Finally, the third story centers around the discovery her father, Gus (Michael Constantine), made while searching his ancestral history. Apparently there was one tiny problem with his marriage to Maria (Lainie Kazan) - the wedding license was never signed and, therefore, is not valid! But after "living in sin" for fifty years, Maria isn't going to make correcting this error so easy for Gus. She is determined to get the wedding she always dreamed of.
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a cultural affair. Having come from a big Italian family, I relate to this movie and the characters very much. There are some very sweet moments that display the importance of family, culture and tradition. Overall, it is a cute film with a very romantic ending and some good laughs. I am unable to compare it to the original because, honestly, it has been too long since I've seen it.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material. The film also stars Andrea Martin, Louis Mandylor, Gia Carides, along with performances by producer Rita Wilson and everyone's favorite Greek, John Stamos.