Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Nia Vardalos wrote this endearing and incredibly funny movie about the Portokalos family. I didn't see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1, so I went into this premiere rather blind. The line to get into the free screening wrapped around the building. I walked past a guard and asked him if that was the line for the wedding. He said, "That's the line for the premiere. Not sure what movie it is." I told him that I had confused the movie for Mama Mia, a musical with music by Abba that I hated. A friend let me know that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, was probably going to be a fun ride. Everyone in line got a card for a free Baklava at Little Greek Restaurant! Not sure if, or when I'll cash that in.
I was laughing out loud for most of the movie, and fell in love with this crazy family. Nia Plays the part of Toula, who married Ian, which must have caused some chaos in the first movie since Ian isn't Greek. Probably the most heart warming moment in the movie came when Toula's father, Gus, met his brother whom the whole family had chipped in with air miles, to fly in from Greece. The brother from Greece resented that his brother left his home country. Gus sent money over seas to prove his success to his brother but the money was always returned. These crusty old men faced off and finally years of resentment melted away and they hugged. I got choked up. After several shots of Ouzo they were laughing like children. In Greek, Gus told his brother that his son in law isn't bad for a gringo. Ian responds in Greek, "You aren't bad yourself for a grumpy old man." They are shocked he has learned Greek and they all have another shot and laughed.
Still working in her parents' Greek restaurant, Toula's daughter Paris is growing up. She is getting ready to graduate high school and Toula and Ian are experiencing marital issues. It is hard to find romance with the demands of everyday life and the demands of an insanely close family. Toula's struggle to give her daughter room to grow is beautiful an heart breaking. When Toula's parents find out they were never officially married, because a priest forgot to sign the marriage license. Gus wants to immediately get married, but his wife Maria, wants a proper proposal after 50 years together.
Hilarity ensues as the family chips in to make the wedding bigger and better with many tasteless touches. They forget to hire limousines and police officers volunteer get the couple to the church with sirens blazing. The women are jostled and panicked but the men in the back of their cop car are laughing up a storm drinking Ouzo which spills with each sharp turn. The wedding reception is boisterous, loud with plenty of Greek dancing. The movie is a joyous celebration of life with all of its laughter and drama. I had a grand time and the audience applauded when the credits rolled. Definitely get out and see this movie, you will laugh until you cry. The movie opens March 25th at a theater near you.