More Windex needed to fix “Greek Wedding 2”

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is a big, fat palooza of a film. Much like Toula’s entire extended Greek family, the sequel to the 2002 fan favorite was extremely rambunctious, in your face and full of love.

The film returns to the life of Toula Portokalos-Miller (Nia Vardalos, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), who now been married to Ian Miller (John Corbett, “Sex and the City 2”,  “Raising Helen”) for many years. Toula, Ian and their college-bound daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris, “American Odyssey,” “Men, Women & Children”) are still dealing with Toula’s overbearing family, whose  constant emotional and physical presence (exhibited by the string of ornately decorated houses in a row) is taking a toll on the Millers’ relationship.

As her parents are getting older, Toula feels obligated to take care of them and further solidify her position as the family’s “fixer” — often at the expense at time spent with Ian. Toula’s over-dedication to ameliorating her family’s problems is exacerbated when it is discovered that her parents Koastas “Gus” Portokalos (Michael Constantine, “Perry Mason”) and Maria Portokalos (Lainie Kazan, “Gigli”) were never legally married as the priest forgot to sign their marriage certificate. As with all big families, chaos immediately ensues to put together a new big fat greek wedding.

Meanwhile, paralleling Toula’s perceptions of her parents, Paris similarly wishes to break free from her family, specifically her always present mother, and debates leaving Chicago for college. She longs to escape the family that constantly embarrasses her, especially in front of cute classmate Bennett.

Once again, Toula, this time with Paris, learns to embrace her over-the-top and no boundary family for all their cultural quirks. Yet, this time, the plot was a bit more unorganized. Each part of the plot was treated as the main story rather than a plot with two subplots, causing the audience to be unsure on the film’s true focus.   As a result, parts of each sub-story was not fully fleshed out and details were lost. The films seems to only exist to show-off the crazy family again, with no true character development.

The original “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” was by no means subtle in its lessons about acceptance of family and  culture. However, with the sequel, it seemed like a non-joke truism was delivered every few minutes.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is not intended to be a stand-alone sequel. While the enormous cast is individually introduced at the beginning of the film, some of the jokes echoed from the last film were lost as they were not explained, such as Gus’s love of Windex. Additionally, there is so little fleshing out of most characters that the audience would not really care about some of the main characters from the last film.

However, the film is guaranteed to be embraced by fans. The humor, love and silly family that was lauded in the previous film returns in the new film. While presented in a big frenetic energy, on screen, the viewers can once again identify their experiences with big families with Toula’s experiences with hers and will definitely be watched in conjunction.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” while overstuffed, is silly fun. For all fans of the original, this film is definitely worth a watch to see the beloved characters on screen again.