“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”: Replays and overlaps the magic of the original

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Grade: A
Verdict: Spectacular, not to be missed comedy about an unforgettable family and its wonderful mishaps.

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It’s rare, but sometimes the sequel is as good as the original. The greatest fear of film lovers is that their favorite movie will be destroyed by a sequel that fails the first story in every way. Luckily, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” isn’t a letdown in any shape or form.

Two decades have passed after the first romantic adventure and all is well, thanks to heavy doses of Windex, until the patriarch of the Portokalos family, Gus, discovers something his magical liquid cannot fix, and this secret will shake his relationship with his wife.

If you didn’t understand the Windex line, it’s time to watch the original film before you go into this one. Many of the visual jokes in this movie are only accessible to those who already know these characters. There’s little redundancy here, other than a small opening voiceover that doesn’t make much of a difference and ends up being the only dark spot in an otherwise immaculate comedy.

The script, written by the main actress Nia Vardalos, follows an interesting double structure. On one side, Vardalos’s character, Toula, must help her parents save their marriage. On the other, she must deal with a daughter who is now grown up and wants complete independence from this wild family.

One of the best sequences happens (ironically) in the only part of the voiceover that works. Toula asks herself where is that girl who, in a sweet flashback calls her Mommy, is now in high school and briskly says “Mom!” to shut her mother up. This quick montage is one of the many great sequences in a script that seems tuned almost to perfection. The comedic timing of both Vardalos and director Kirk Jones is perfect in nearly all scenes, and loud laughs are guaranteed.

In fact, both films seem to form one big story, thanks to the almost seamless transition in between them. It’s like visiting an old friend and sitting by his fireplace, and having him ask: “OK, so where did we stop last time?” This feeling of familiarity, of being at home, is an integral part of the enjoyment you get from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” The little redundancy in the story line means you won’t have to wait endless minutes of “what happened on the last episode” scene. The new story begins from minute one. And two hours later, you still feel the need for more.

The unaltered cast is another great part of the film’s success. All the beloved characters from the first movie are back, including the silent, crazy grandmother, who has outstanding role of the complete outcast in this family. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t rush the plot forward. There are scenes where the characters shine so bright on screen that even the story line seems to become unimportant. You leave the theatre with the unstoppable feeling that you wanted more time with each of these characters.

The only mistake you can make here is by going to the theatre without watching the first film or by just hearing a summary from a friend. And if you still try it, you’re going to realize fairly quickly that the jokes that are erupting the room with laughs won’t have an effect on you.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” lives up to all the expectations and more. This is a film you cannot miss. And, as for a closure to the trilogy, a third version cannot come soon enough.

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