It's been 14 years since Nia Vardalos first introduced audiences to a fictional version of her real-life Greek family.
She uses her own wedding as an example: "My husband is an only child of only child parents," she says. "So on my side we had 250 or 300 people, and his side he had eight!"
She says that having all of these people in her life gives her plenty of material to work with. Even so, it took more than a decade to get to work on the sequel. "A few folks will claim I ran out of money or just wanted to kiss John Corbett again," she jokes, before making a serious admission. "Actually, it was a sad situation in which I was hiding that I was trying to become a mom. And it was really difficult for me. I didn't want to write about being a mother when I couldn't be a mother."
Continue reading: Nia Vardalos Speaks For Women In My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
It's been 14 years since Nia Vardalos' warm comedy about her raucous extended family became the sleeper hit of the 2002, and now she's back with more of the same silliness. It all feels rather predictable this time around, although there are some terrific comical moments along the way. And the cast is genuinely likeable, even if the characters are fairly thin.
So after all this time, Toula (Vardalos) and her husband Ian (John Corbett) are still living on the same street as Toula's many relatives. She's also running the family cafe with her parents Gus and Maria (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan), who are bickering because they just discovered that they're not legally married. Meanwhile, Toula and Ian are struggling to rekindle the spark in their marriage as they both worry about the coming day when their 17-year-old daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) goes off to university. As meddling Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) tries to find a suitable Greek boy for Paris, everyone is planning Gus and Maria's wedding. Which of course can't be a small occasion.
None of the movie's interwoven plot threads has any tension at all in it, so the film meanders amiably along. There's never any doubt that Toula and Ian will reawaken their romance, that Gus and Maria will renew their vows or that Paris will find her independence. And without any proper conflict, the film struggles to get the audience involved in any meaningful way beyond laughing at the engaging characters. Director Kirk Jones (who made the original Nanny McPhee) occasionally tips things over into physical slapstick or full-on farce, plus several very cheap gags, but most of the humour is centred on the wacky cultural antics of these colourful family members. The actors invest plenty of charm into their roles, with Martin once again stealing the film as the uproariously over-involved Voula.
Continue reading: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Review
It’s been fourteen years since Toula Portokalos-Miller had her Big Fat Greek Wedding, but now it’s time to round up the family and do it all over again. Except this time there’s a difference.
When we join Toula and Ian again, they’re now parents to a teenage daughter who’s all set to go to college (as far away from her family as possible).
As they struggle to find the balance between being good parents and making time for each other, the couple still must deal with Toula’s ever-present, overbearing Greek family.
While this comedy of embarrassment has some pointed things to say about growing up, and a refreshing refusal to push its central character into a box, it also continually resorts to the cheapest, most annoying gags. As a result, the intriguing premise is swamped in corny antics, forcing the actors to work overtime to keep their characters on the right side of believability. This leaves everyone on-screen feeling more than a little artificial, including the characters who manage to be engaging.
The central figure is Lloyd (Jason Dolley), a 17-year-old who hasn't yet discovered what his "thing" is. He's brainy enough to get into any university he wants, but is unsure what he wants to do with his life. And he has been so busy getting good grades that he has never explored his own sexuality. Not helping this is his over-involved mother Maggie (Nia Vardalos), who hovers around him like a police helicopter with a floodlight, meddling in every aspect of his life. Mainly she's hoping he turns out to be gay, because that will entitle him to a scholarship to pay the expensive university tuition fees. So she tries to hook him up with random young men and asks his biker-dude dad Max (Mark Boone Junior) to encourage him in that direction. But Max actually engages Lloyd in a conversation, something his mother never does.
The problem is that for all of Maggie's protestations that she loves her son, she clearly only cares about herself. And this intense selfishness makes her so loathsome that we flinch every time she appears on screen, just as Lloyd does when he notices her nearby. Vardalos underplays the role nicely, but it's not enough to make her remotely sympathetic as everything she does leaves a wake of destruction. In other words, she's more like a shallow sitcom character than a real person. By contrast, Dolley is remarkably likeable, and the film's best scenes are between him and the relaxed, open-handed Boone. And Dolley also generates a nice sense of chemistry with Skyler Samuels, as the school hottie who's tired of hanging out with bigoted jocks.
Continue reading: Helicopter Mom Review
Are you ready for more of the Portokalos family? Probably not.
This story is about a big, loud, highly public wedding and we’re not even talking about Kim and Kanye. Go figure.
Nia Vardalos has another big fat Greek Story to tell.
In the wake of K&K’s wedding, the minds behind 2002’s breakout hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding pulled a shrewd social media move and announced a sequel in the pipeline. And we know what you’re thinking, but no. This isn’t going to be a loosely-based project by another team entirely, a la Mean Girls 2. The script is once again being written by Nia Vardalos and the screenwriter, now 51, will star alongside 53-year-old John Corbett. Just like old times – mostly. MBFGW2 will be produced by Playtone's Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.
Continue reading: Mia Vardalos Reveals Plans For My Big Fat Greek Sequel
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' star Nia Vardalos chats to a woman as she signs copies of her new book 'Instant Mom' at the St. Demetrois Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She then poses for a few pictures with her.
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' star Nia Vardalos talks about the frequent use of the window cleaner brand Windex in the movie at a book signing for her new book 'Instant Mom' at St. Demetrois Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Colourful direction and sparky performances help make this friendship comedy watchable, although it never seems like a finished film. Instead, we feel like we're watching the first rehearsal for a much better movie. It manages to charm us along the way, but it's never as funny or sexy as it tries to be.
When his two best pals have housing problems, gay New York comic Jesse (Long) suggests they move in together. Lauren (Miller) is a business ace who has just lost her job and her boyfriend, while Katie (Graynor) is an aimless young woman working a series of jobs that don't pay enough for her to pay the bills on her late grandmother's gorgeous flat. The problem is that they hate each other due to a minor incident 10 years earlier and resent each other for being dull and oversexed, respectively. Then Lauren realises that Katie could actually make a lot more money if she opened her own phone-sex company. And when the two go into business together, an unlikely friendship is born.
Screenwriters Miller and Naylon based the story on their own life (Miller even plays herself), so there are constant details that add honesty and humour along the way. On the other hand, they have also forced the plot into the usual rom-com story structure, so we know exactly where it's going from the start. But what's even stranger is the way they pack scenes with riotously graphic sex talk without letting the characters actually have any riotous sex. The movie's only two bed scenes are bizarrely dull, and badly undermine both the randy atmosphere and any point the movie might be making about sexuality.
Continue reading: For A Good Time, Call... Review
The scheming of Palermo's prototypical Italian is of little interest (he gets an old girlfriend to play nice with him), but Ferrell's ultra-loser, whose hearfelt appeal to the sky in the Hollywood Hills is met with jeers from the locals, shines. Shaud's dalliance with a married gal (is hubby a mobster?) is relatively lame, though his equally pathetic character is goofy enough to make his few scenes fun.
Continue reading: Men Seeking Women Review
Sometimes a movie's success stems more from spirit, charm and perseverance than from any originality or artistry involved in its creation. The unabashedly confectionery ethnic comedy-romance "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a shining example of just that phenomenon.
Of the same feel-good disposition as the Aussie sleeper hit "Strictly Ballroom," it's a low-budget, ugly duckling fairytale that is predictable and brimming with clichés -- but so earnest, funny and joyful that it's a complete delight all the same.
Adapted by Nia Vardalos from her own one-woman stage show, the movie also features Vardalos in the starring role as 30-ish Toula Portokalos, a frumpy, lovelorn waitress in her father's Greek restaurant. A shy girl who's fed up with her huge family's amusingly, exasperatingly intrusive hounding about finding a husband, she seeks self-empowerment by enrolling in community college computer classes, getting a make-over and taking new job at a relative's travel agency. In the process Toula discovers her assertive, flirtatious side -- just in time to meet Mr. Right.
Continue reading: My Big Fat Greek Wedding Review
It's been 14 years since Nia Vardalos' warm comedy about her raucous extended family became...
It’s been fourteen years since Toula Portokalos-Miller had her Big Fat Greek Wedding, but now...
While this comedy of embarrassment has some pointed things to say about growing up, and...
Colourful direction and sparky performances help make this friendship comedy watchable, although it never seems...
A painfully squishy centre completely undoes this rom-com, although it's difficult to know what might...
Larry Crowne is one of the best employees at the local big-box store where he...
It's well known that Greeks are ethnocentric. Most of their men will probably brag...
In Connie and Carla, two women find that disguising themselves as male cross-dressers is the...
Sometimes a movie's success stems more from spirit, charm and perseverance than from any originality...