The Portokalos and Miller family returned to the big screen March 25 to celebrate another wedding. In this sequel to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” this time Maria (Lainie Kazan) and Gus (Michael Constantine) — the patriarch of the family — are getting married, because he discovers the priest never signed their wedding license in 1963.
Gus and Maria have been together for over 50 years, and when they discover they aren’t legally married, Maria begins to question whether Gus still appreciates her. Fifty-some years ago, Gus proposed by telling Maria, “I’m going to America. Are you coming or not?” Now, Maria wants a heartfelt proposal and a formal wedding.
Maria and Gus have to remember the reason they started their adventure as a couple together.
In a touching moment of the film, Gus tells Toula (Nia Vardolos) about his love for her mother.
“(Love is) looking back for your shadow and seeing two people,” he says.
Toula and Ian (John Corbett) Miller also must rediscover the romance in their relationship. The two are trying to learn how to parent a daughter who’s growing up and possibly moving away for college, and other family matters always seem to take up Toula’s time. Toula and Ian cannot remember how to be a couple without being parents first. But as Toula’s Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) explains to her, “You were a girlfriend before you were a mother.”
Toula and Ian’s 17-year-old daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), is faced with choosing a college. She can either stay close to home and attend Northwestern University in Chicago or leave home and go to New York University. As always, many members of the Portokalos family try to “help” her make this decision. However, Paris finds her family a bit suffocating and wants to make a decision for herself that does not involve her entire family — great-aunts and cousins included. While this family is always there for every member, there is a fine line between support and suffocation.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” identifies the significance of love, as well as being able to let go of family and make time for one’s significant other. Maria and Gus decide to renew their wedding vows because Maria did not get the big wedding she wanted 50 years ago. Toula and Ian must put romance before parenthood because their only child will soon be away at college. Paris must accept her family but also figure out how to live without the constant badgering by her well-meaning relatives. Members of the Portokalos family must find themselves while being a part of something greater: personal identity in a large family, keeping the romance alive after many years and many children, and remembering to be a spouse as well as a parent.
Big families are often hard to deal with, but the Portokalos family makes it work. The Portokalos family loves each other, and while certain members may be overbearing, their love is what redeems their meddling.
For this sequel, the entire cast from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (2002) returned. The acting was just as phenomenal as its predecessor, and the audience is sure to have a few laughs.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will resonate with all age groups. The older generation may identify with Maria and Gus’ many years of “marriage,” the middle-aged generation may identify with Toula and Ian’s need for re-kindled romance, and the younger generation may identify with Paris’ need for both independence and support. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” shows that it is OK to leave home, but don’t forget who is behind you.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will be in theaters until the end of April.
Allison Sapp is a senior English major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. She is obsessed with dark chocolate, movies, books and Tim Horton’s coffee.