Film Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Belated sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 features much of the charm and tone of the original hit romantic comedy. Nia Vardalos’ screenplay depicts the Portokalos family at the next stage of life.

Toula and Ian have a teenage daughter about to graduate high school and leave for university. Meanwhile, Toula’s parents are ageing, and need more support. A recently discovered family secret brings the Portokalos family back together for another wedding…

Fourteen years after My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a box office hit, Nia Vardalos is back scripting and starring in this belated sequel. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is more of an intergenerational comedy, owing to the time that has past. The film shifts its focus from romance to family. Through the character of Toula, the audience sees a shift in priorities. The film focuses on her as she cares for her elderly parents whilst her daughter gets ready to leave for college.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 works well in reflecting a stable and mature marriage through Toula and Ian, the coming of age of daughter Paris, and the seasoned relationship of Toula’s parents. This sequel continues in its depiction of the traditional roles of the first film, although there is some updating. There seems to be a bit of a breakthrough, or revelation, in the climax. However, the film quickly reverts to archetypes.

The comedy works well overall. Some of the jokes are a little weary, but the film does garner laughs. Vardalos has realised the success of the Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) character from the first film, so she gets more screen time in this instalment. Elena Kampouris is a decent addition to the older cast, who reprise their roles well. John Stamos and Rita Wilson (who also produces) have more cameo-style roles than fleshed out characters.

Hitting the right notes most of the time, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 should satisfy fans of the first film looking for another fix.

Previews: Finding Dory Trailer, Triple 9 and More!

Much to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the first Finding Dory trailer, Triple 9, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and more…

Finding Dory Trailer

Here is the first Finding Dory Trailer. Finding Nemo is a modern Disney classic, so its sequel has to impress. From the looks of the Finding Dory trailer, the film has the same feel as its predecessor. Finding Dory is set to hit the big screen in Summer 2016.

Triple 9 UK Trailer

Triple 9 has a most enviable cast. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet and Anthony Mackie are among those who star in the crime thriller. When a group of corrupt cops are blackmailed by the Russian mafia, they must go to desperate measures to pull off a heist. Triple 9 will be released in the UK on 19th February 2016.

Zoolander 2 Poster

Zoolander 2 poster

Derek Zoolander and Hansel are doing what they do best in this poster for sequel Zoolander 2. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell are joined by Kirsten Wiig this time round, with a screenplay written by Justin Theroux. Zoolander 2 is out on 12th February 2016.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Trailer

This seems to have sprung from nowhere. Here is the unexpected trailer for belated sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The sequel reunites the cast of the original, as the Portokalos family come together for another wedding. Also written by and starring Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 hits UK cinemas on 25th March 2016.

Bridge of Spies Clip

In this Bridge of Spies clip, Tom Hanks’s character James Donavan discusses his controversial forthcoming case with his family. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film also stars Mark Rylance and Alan Alda. Bridge of Spies is out in UK cinemas on 26th November 2015.

Victor Frankenstein Clip

In this clip from Victor Frankenstein, the famed scientist exhibits much enthusiasm for his work. James McAvoy stars as the title character, with Daniel Radcliffe as protégé Igor. The film, written by Max Landis, is a twist on the Mary Shelley classic. Victor Frankenstein hits UK screens on 3rd December 2015.

Film Review: Larry Crowne

A rare directorial feature from Tom Hanks, Larry Crowne is a warm-hearted comedy. It is likeable in its inoffensiveness and an enjoyable watch.

Larry Crowne is a popular colleague at the retail store he works at. When he loses his job, he decides to go to college, having joined the navy from school instead of going to university. Enrolling in a public speaking course at the community college, Larry meets interesting new friends as well as teacher Ms Tainot…

Larry Crowne is unlikely to have an astronomical impact on cinema. It is, however, a fun movie that should charm audiences. There was always a danger that the film would succumb to unadulterated schmaltz, given its premise, genre and stars. Larry Crowne manages to steer clear of this for the most part, thanks to the screenplay by Hanks and Nia Vardalos. The film is cute without being too cheesy.

The comedy in the film is light with occasional bursts. This is as expected, and in keeping with the tone of the movie. There are some amusing references, as well as some delightful banter. Larry plays the straight man to the amusing ensemble cast more often than not. Ms Tainot and her interactions with her class are a good source of humour.

Some of the themes touched upon by Larry Crowne are very contemporary; the effects of the recession on middle-aged men will be pertinent to today’s audience. Nevertheless, the film has a timeless quality. Aside from a few references, no doubt Larry Crowne will be just as enjoyable for audiences of the future.

Hanks brings a light touch to his direction. There are some nice shots, Larry looking at Lamar and Bella in his rear window for example. This scene in particular is suggestive of the replication of Larry’s adolescent journey. Parallels between Larry’s choices and that of a young adult are clear, although it is never overtly referenced. This is a nice touch, with the film appearing like a love letter to Hanks’ character in 1988’s Big (whether intentional or not).

Tom Hanks is as amiable as ever as the title character. Julia Roberts brings her usual charisma as Ms Tainot. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is also appealing as Talia, while Wilmer Valderrama is amusing as Dell Gordo. Casting is great, with George Takei bringing laughs as Dr Matsutani. Dave Mack is underused as Michael.

Larry Crowne‘s brand of comedy and romance will not appealing to everyone. However, the film is lovingly crafted, and is an entertaining diversion.