Bigger, Fatter, Greeker: 14 years after the original burst onto the scene, taking Hollywood by surprise and launching Nia Vardalos into instant stardom, comes its unnecessary sequel.
Oh sure all the endearing characters are back from the first – and their sugar-coated stereotypes too. Opa!
Watching this movie is a lot like visiting your family: yes they’re a little racist, and lot invasive of your personal business, but they’re familiar, and mostly harmless. They mean well.
Nia Vardalos, writer and star of both movies, pulls from her old bag of tricks and has literally nothing fresh to offer. Characters Toula and Ian (token white guy – John Corbett) have a daughter now who’s all grown up and wearing makeup. She’s threatening to go to NYU, and an empty nest does not look good on Greeks. What to do? Well, neglect your marriage, for one. But insert yourself into everyone else’s. Add 2 cups chopped spinach and about 8 sheets of phyllo dough and you’ve got yourself a recipe for spanakopita if nothing else.
This movie has a very slim demographic: die-hard fans of the first film (such as Nia’s mother, perhaps?) and ladies optioning their senior’s discount at the box office. I had the pleasure of catching a matinee of this movie among some very gray heads, and they laughed at some very strange moments that I failed identify as jokes. But yes, this movie is the kind of safe, benign, watered down humour that relies heavily on cliché: exactly the kind of thing your grandmother will enjoy.