This film will probably be a hit with any ethnic family, as I assume they can all identify with it, not just those of Greek origin. There are the expected generational and nuclear family conflicts and arguments presented with flair—and many audience members will get a big kick out of them—but there is not much here that is fresh and original or especially insightful. Movies showing the soul, drama, and comedy that seems to be inherent in many ethnic families, as least the stereotypic ones, have abounded—one I can think of is Moonstruck with an Italian family.
Nia Vardalos, the writer for the first Greek Wedding (2002) and this one and lead actress in both, is talented, but this 2016 version is so similar to the 2002 version, I question why the second one needed to be made. There is no particular flair or creative treatment of the material that makes it stand out.
In this update, Toula (Vardalos) has become the go-to person in the family to intervene in any situation. She seems to take after her Aunt Voula (Martin), who is also called upon, and between the two of them all problems get solved. Two current predicaments include where Toula’s daughter is going to college (the family is unanimously for local Northwestern) and the other occurs when it’s discovered that the marriage of Toula’s parents isn’t legal because the priest neglected to sign the certificate. Toula’s mother (Kazan) has some conditions her father (Constantine) has to agree to even before any wedding plans can begin.
Director Kirk Jones, the cast, and the crew all do a fine job, and it’s likely audiences will enjoy seeing it. I think the script just needed something more to take it to the next level.
An updated version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Grade: C By Donna R. Copeland