I drank two airplane bottles of whisky and two pints of Sun King Wee Mac while I watched this movie. Therefore, I loved it.
Watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was much like visiting relatives. It was irritating and uncomfortable at first, but after a few drinks, I had a jolly good time.
Now, I must say, this is the first movie I’ve ever reviewed under the influence of joy juice. (Some angry fanboys seemed to think I was drunk when I wrote my review of Batman v Superman though. I wish, guys, I wish.)
I wanted a drink for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 because I didn’t like the first one — and I was just a wee lad! (I was easily amused as a little boy, so the fact that I didn’t giggle like crazy during that comedy was kind of a big deal.)
Now, 14 years later, I found myself smitten to see these characters again. Maybe I just needed time to miss them — and ALCOHOL. (God bless the Keystone Art Cinema for serving that sweet, glorious liquid courage.)
Anyway, like the first film, this one revolves around Toula (screenwriter Nia Vardalos) and her comically overbearing Greek family. When I saw the original, I didn’t laugh much at their eccentricities — such as the father’s use of Windex as a cure-all. But I basked in the warm familiarity of these quirks this time. (Of course, whisky makes me pretty toasty, too.)
This time around, Toula and her non-Greek husband Ian (John Corbett) not only have to deal with their relatives, who live next door, Everybody Loves Raymond-style; they also have a moody teenage daughter named Paris (Elena Kampouris). She is anger personified, complete with dark clothes and seemingly permanent pitch-black eyeshadow.
Paris spends most of the movie trying to escape her family. They embarrass her at home, at local sporting events, at her school’s college fair, the list goes on. It’s typical sitcom shit, but I ate it up. (Yes, I eat shit.)
Like the original, this one isn’t laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it sticks a smile on your face and moves at a breezy, pleasant pace. And the characters have engaging comic chemistry, especially Paris and her parents. The tension between them is hilarious thick. Kampouris effectively conveys the perpetually embarrassed demeanor of a typical teenager. She’s also sympathetic, making us wince and cringe right along with her.
Paris eventually meets a nice Greek boy (Alex Wolff) and finds relief in the fact that she’s not the only one whose family is nuts. She also finds herself under a love spell, which makes her warm up to her parents and relatives. (Big surprise!)
I was under a similar spell, thanks to alcohol. And like Paris, I brushed off the chip on my shoulder and let these goofy Greek folks into my life. Sometimes, you just have to take the stick out of your ass, embrace eccentric people and try to have a good time. Alcohol helps.