Friday, April 22, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” Is Bigger and Fatter and Greekier
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Maybe it’s a male thing, but I hate going to weddings. Yet I like wedding movies. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to dress up to attend.

In “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” we met the Portokalos family. When spinster daughter Toula (Nia Vardalos) finally meets a man (John Corbett), it’s a bit of a disappointment that he isn’t Greek. But the family gets over that as they jump into the wedding planning.

Antonia Eugenia “Nia” Vardalos both wrote and starred in the movie based on her one-woman stage play. The size of the cast certainly grew from one to the other. An alumnae of the Chicago Second City repertory company, she’d appeared in many small television roles before coming up with the breakout hit. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for her screenplay. It’s the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time.

The story continued in “My Big Fat Greek Life,” a TV sitcom also starring Nia Vardalos. It ran one season on CBS.

Now we have “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” another wedding in the making when the Portokalos family regroups for the marriage of … Toula’s mom and dad (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan). Turns out the priest forgot to sign their wedding license, so they decide to do it over again, this one guaranteed to be an even bigger, fatter, Greekier wedding.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is celebrating at Tropic Cinema.

This sequel took 14 years to be made and contains mostly all of the cast and crew from the first movie.

“Over the years, I've heard from everybody about what the sequel should be,” says Nia. “People next to me at Starbucks would say, ‘Hey, let me tell you my idea,’ and I’d be like, ‘Hey, I’m just trying to get a cup of coffee.’ I never thought much about it. But then when John Corbett and I recently sat down to do that interview for the 10th anniversary edition, we laughed so hard through the whole thing. It made me think that it’s time. He said, ‘Come on, write something, will you?’”

Nia and John Corbett have appeared in several movies together.

“We have such an easy chemistry together. And we have chemistry because we never did it. That’s the surefire way to kill chemistry in a scene. You have to make sure your actors don’t do it off-screen. If they don't do it, then they’ll have chemistry on camera.”

Why didn’t they do it? Nia Vardalos’s real-life husband, Ian Gomez, was on the set. In both movies he plays her movie husband’s best friend, Mike.

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