Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive material. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: March 25, 2016 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
The script by Nia Vardlos under the direction of Kirk Jones could be about any ethnic family in the United States. The traditions of the old country and more important those established for the family as it organized in the US must be up held. The family here lead by Gus (Michael Constantine) is concentrated on one street in Chicago. Gus in the first scene points that out by driving down his street to four houses in a row all to pick up his relatives.
Gus retains his overpowering faith on Windex, which is in the fist sequence and used to unfreeze a locked door on his big older Cadillac with the license plate OPA, later he uses it to loosen up his hip which has become stiff. A lot of the old stuff from the first wedding is evident here but it moves more comfortably and will remind many families of what happens when all the relatives get together. It is never angry, it is always fun.
Gus insists that his nineteen year old grand daughter (Gia Crides) should be looking for a nice Greek boy to marry and have children and not wait as long as her mother Toula (Vardalos) did. He goes further and questions why Toula and her non Greek husband (John Corbett) do not have a son. He believes it is because Ian (Corbett) is a vegetarian and can't produce a male offspring without eating meat.
Initially the prime focus is the loosing of Nikki (Carides) to a college out of Chicago. The inability to let go has been transferred to Toula from her father Gus. Mom and everybody in the family have been a part of her life constantly they show up as a group of about twenty for all of the daughter's events. Along with the prodding of Gus to get a Greek husband the young woman feels pressure and just would like to be alone from time to time. She is easily embarrassed by her family especially her aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) who openly pushes intimacy out into the open for all the family. But she has the confidence to rescue a student from an embarrassing moment at school by asking him to the prom.
The twist comes when Gus learns the Greek priest in the past did not sign the marriage license between him and Maria (Lainie Kazan), remember her as a Playboy center fold in 1970. The two spar and she insists on a wedding to confirm they are married.
It all comes together after prolonged planning and establishing understanding. The wedding is the final focal point as is the prom which Nikki attends with of all things a young Greek boy.
Not much happens that we have not seen before, but the chemistry and performances and the understandings that come to life in the script bring out a comedy that all families can enjoy. The script also some how brings emotion to something simple as receiving acceptance letters from college. More enjoyment also arises as Gus is determined to prove he is a descendent of Alexander the Great. Every scene works towards the goal of entertaining and it works perfectly.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is OPA.
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