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CATHERINE KRUMMEY: 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2' a shallow sequel

The first "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," released in 2002, was a hit, both critically and commercially. Talk of a sequel has faded in and out since the original, but in 2016, the follow-up which some have been clamoring for finally is in theaters.

The Portokalos family is back in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," which is now playing in theaters. (Universal Pictures)
The Portokalos family is back in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," which is now playing in theaters. (Universal Pictures)

The first "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," released in 2002, was a hit, both critically and commercially. Talk of a sequel has faded in and out since the original, but in 2016, the follow-up which some have been clamoring for finally is in theaters.

A decade and a half later, nothing has changed too much in these characters' lives and nothing really shakes them up in the plot of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2." In a word, this sequel is a bit boring. And no amount of Windex can fix that.

Toula (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the movie) and Ian (John Corbett) still live on the same street as her parents and brother, and they now have a daughter of their own, Paris (Elena Kampouris), who feels just as smothered by her big family as Toula did in the original. This situation and some drama between Toula's parents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), provide the major plot points of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2."

Most movies hinge on characters changing their ways, and while a few do that here, the changes don't seem to be that much of a leap for them.

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" offers snippets of life from all of the returning members of the beloved Portokalos family but never really goes deep enough with any of them to allow a strong emotional reaction.

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John Stamos and Rita Wilson have a random three-scene cameo as a married couple that befriend the Portokalos clan, and their appearances really feel forced, adding nothing of any substance to the movie's storyline. That said, a lot of this movie feels pretty forced, as if the filmmakers took a bunch of middling ideas for the film's story and strung them all together without trying to develop a more interesting plot.

If you're familiar with the original characters and interested in catching up with their lives, it might be worth seeing, but otherwise, this is a "wedding" you can safely skip. You'd be much better off watching the first movie, which is a truly original take on family, love and life.

 

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2

Two out of five stars.

Time: 1:34

MPAA rating: PG-13 for some suggestive material

Related Topics: MOVIES
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