As I did every Saturday night in High School, I was watching an episode of Ebert and Roeper when I heard about My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When I saw it, I fell completely in love with it, and spread the word of the film as best I could. It was smart, funny, endearing, and a joy from start to finish. I admit to even being excited about the very little known series My Big Fat Greek Life.
The second one is not as good, but I still found myself smiling through most of it. It was not just because of the jokes (they are there, of course), but mainly because of what both movies did best: it gave us truly engaging, realistic, and authentic characters. From what I could tell, all are back (even Mana-YiaYia, who, though old, still has knowledge to give the young in the family).
The family is still living close to each other (very literally). Toula (Nia Vardalos, who again wrote the screenplay), still helps out at the family restaurant (Dancing Zorba’s), while her husband Ian (John Corbett) is now principal of the local High School, where their daughter Paris (a young talented Elena Kampouris) attends. She starts getting the talk her mother got from her Grandpa Gus (Michael Constantine): “Find a Greek boy soon!”.
There is another plot in which Toula’s parents Gus and Maria (Lainie Kazan) discover the priest never signed their marriage licence, meaning they never got married. Obviously, it is really an excuse to just have a wedding scene (which is nicely done).
Parents, there are some bits of dialogue that have sexual references, but none that are too horrible for anyone over 13. Basically, the rating is justified.
I am aware many critics did not like the film, but I did. It was truly like a family reunion that I enjoyed attending very much. Producers Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson (who also plays a very minor role and is greek) have created characters I am hoping we are not done with yet.
Overall: Three and a Half Stars *** 1/2