credit: Universal Pictures

Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) *****

If there’s any criticism to be had of this entire trilogy, you won’t hear it from me. I’m so attached to this fictional Greek family that I really just say “my cousins” when I’m talking with my actual family about the people in this movie. I love my cousins. As far as I’m concerned, sequels to the original are just like, getting another newsletter about what my Greek cousins are up to. (I am of Irish descent, but probably seeded by Alexander the Great tbh.)

Years after the first movie, Toula’s little girl is in high school and looking at college. Toula’s feeling empty nest vibes real hard. She’s struggling to fill the void in her life by running around and pining for others’ babies, but Ian is looking forward to more time with his smoking-hot wife. The two of them are so hot, I’m rooting for Ian here. Don’t get me wrong: my youngest is nine years old as I write this review and I’ve been dying for babies for *years*. I get Toula *completely*. But Toula and Ian have only gotten hotter since the first movie, and in my soul, I believe they deserve to spend the rest of their lives railing each other without getting cockblocked by children.

Anyway, Toula is mostly hoping her baby will go to college nearby, while Paris (not actually a baby) feels the urge to escape the smothering behemoth of her family. Paris lovingly endures her family really well. Enduring the scrutiny of family who don’t care you’re not their whole entire property is A Lot, and Toula *does* understand. Mostly.

Then scandal unfolds! Toula’s Dad and Mom aren’t legally married! The wedding certificate wasn’t signed, so these adorable elders are ~living in sin~. Yet Mom is reluctant to marry him for realsies, because Dad is a pain in the ass who doesn’t appreciate her. Drama! And also an opportunity for a second big fat Greek wedding, thankfully.

Little new ground is covered here, but it’s done so nicely, I couldn’t care less. The sequel is a series of homages to the first movie, adjusted to fit different characters or different times. Toula’s visual transforms again; Toula and Ian get spicy in the car again; harassment about boys is a problem for Paris now; wedding beats happen again, but transposed over Mom.

We also touch bases with Ian’s parents. I think it’s such an interesting detail: He asks his parents to rely on him more, and they seem sorta confused. Ian wants to be tangled up in *all* his family. As an “Anglo” married into the family, Ian is seldom the focus, but his characterization really grows in moments like these, so he’s also never background.

Predictability is reassuring when you mostly just want to see your cousins have a good time, and they do, so we do too. Love radiates out of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” When Toula and Ian go through the ritual of marriage again, I’m beaming with them.

Shout out to Joey Fatone, the best member of NSync, who is also revealed to be my Gay Greek Cousin. We love you Cousin Angelo!

(image credit: Universal Pictures)

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