Thursday, March 24, 2016

Someone dropped this wedding cake

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 takes the worst aspects of its 14-year-old predecessor -- sitcom plotting, ethnic stereotyping and family bickering -- and magnifies them to nearly intolerable levels. Written by its star -- Nia Vardalos -- My Big Fat Greek Wedding II contrives to have the family patriarch (Michael Constantine) marry his wife of long-standing (Lainie Kazan). Why is such a wedding necessary? Frazzled by war, an old-country priest forgot to sign the couple's original marriage certificate. Gasp! Their marriage wasn't official. Time has soured the jokes so that even intrusive aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) seems more crass than funny. Vardalos's Toula, married to non-Greek Ian (John Corbett), frets about every family issue while worrying that her 17-year-old daughter (Elena Kampouris) will leave the Chicago area to attend college. Awkwardly assembled by director Kirk Jones, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 stumbles through what it seems to regard as a feast of ethnic color. When the movie was finished I felt nearly as embarrassed as Kampouris' character did when her whole family improbably showed up at her high school's college fair. Vardalos has a knack for projecting beaming happiness. I hope she has a better reason than this cloying sequel for looking so damn cheerful.

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