NEW YORK (CNS) — The close-knit Portokalos family — loving, clingy, earthy and in your face at all the most inopportune moments — returns in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” (Universal).
Unfortunately, this follow-up lacks the zest of the 2002 romantic comedy that launched the formula “My Big Fat (fill in the blank)” into the American lexicon.
The moral structure is still there — these folks look after each other with admirable ferocity. And, as in the first film, not a lot really goes on.
Self-sacrificing Toula (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay) is back working in her parents’ Greek restaurant in Chicago, the bad economy having shuttered her travel agency.
Her daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), now a high school senior, finds their family a constant source of embarrassment. As Toula notes, “They don’t know the difference between closeness and suffocation.”
Toula and husband Ian (John Corbett) are having difficulties rediscovering marital intimacy. Paris wants to go to college in New York to gain some distance from the clan.
And then there’s paterfamilias Gus (Michael Constantine). While researching his genealogy online in an attempt to prove that he’s a descendant of Alexander the Great, Gus digs out his marriage license, only to find that the priest forgot to sign it.
Meaning — according to the logic of the script anyway — that he and spouse Maria (Lainie Kazan) have not been legally married all these years. So they must plan a wedding.
That’s pretty much it. The real problem, though, isn’t with the ambling plot. It’s the fact that Vardalos only manages the occasional adept gag, while director Kirk Jones can do little with the rest of the project.
As a result, the story comes down to a few pithy quotes interspersed with half-hearted physical comedy that has the taste of stale moussaka.
The film contains sexual references and light banter. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: