"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" came out in August 2002 (it was the summer before my freshman year of college) and I went to see it with one of my best childhood friends. We laughed throughout the entire movie and agreed that if it had been called "My Big Fat Jewish Wedding" not much would have changed. Jewish families and Greek families center around the same same three things - food, noise and guilt.
I loved the movie so much that when it came out on DVD I bought it the first day it was available. I think I paid some ridiculous price like $27.99. Keep in mind, this was 14 years ago.
When I heard Nia Vardalos was rallying the gang for a second film I jumped up and down with joy. Though the technical release date is today, March 25th (also Greek Independence Day), I was able to attend one of the very first showings last night. My college bestie and I caught the 7:30pm show at the Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, which is my favorite place to see a movie.
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you do not want to know anything about the plot of this movie.*
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" finds us back in Chicago with the Portokalos family. Toula and her husband Ian (a.k.a. Aidan from "Sex and the City") are still living next door to her parents, Gus and Maria. Gus is still using Windex to solve all his problems and still showing anyone who dares to question him that the root of any word can be traced back to something Greek.
Toula has found herself in a bit of a rut. She is back working in the family's restaurant and has let herself go. Aunt Voula (who has always been my favorite character) steps in to try and help her revive her marriage.
In addition to putting the romance back into her relationship with Ian, Toula is also preoccupied with her daughter, Paris. She desperately wants Paris to go to college in Chicago, but knows her daughter has her eyes on New York. In a predictable set up, Paris is embarrassed by her noisy family and is desperate to move thousands of miles away from them.
The true center of the story revolves around Gus and Maria. In an attempt to prove he is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great, Gus discovers his marriage license to Maria was never actually signed. Thus begins a flurry of wedding planning. The whole family pitches in to completely transform the backyard for a joyous celebration. Let me tell you, the Greeks can party!
Toward the end, there is a romantic montage set to John Legend's song "All of Me" and I'm not going to lie, I teared up.
This second installment introduced a few groups of new characters that added depth and humor to the reunion. Gus has a pack of friends at his physical therapist, all elderly men who think their ancestors gave the greatest gifts to the world (they are Persian, Chinese and Scottish). Toula battles three blond PTA moms. Rita Wilson and John Stamos (!!) arrive as a new couple at the local Greek church. Paris has an adorable love interest named Bennett and she has a rowdy group of male cousins, all clones of Nick and Angelo. At the very end of the movie, we also meet Gus' brother from Greece.
While "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" didn't have the exact same magic as the first movie, it was so fun to be back with the wacky Portokalos family.
The movie is just 94 minutes long and is perfect for grownups and kids alike.
*Image courtesy of Radio Times.