In 2002, first-time writer Nia Vardalos' small-budget film My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a surprise hit, bringing in over $368 million worldwide. Fans of the film will finally get to see the sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, this coming spring.
The first film told the story of Toula Portokalos (Vardalos), a sheltered young Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man. Her overbearing family struggles to accept her choice, which in turn leads to a comically-awkward culture clash. The second film turns the tables on Toula, who has accepted her cultural identity more than she ever thought possible. She's now the smothering Greek mother who travels in a pack with her relatives, determined to keep her independent teenaged daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) from attending an out-of-state college.
The trailer above for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 shows Paris reliving her mother's story, struggling to find her own way while being harangued by the family to settle down with a nice Greek boy and "make babies." The twist on the tale is that it's not yet time for Paris' taffeta-filled happily-ever-after. Her grandparents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria Portokalos (Lainie Kazan), have discovered that the priest that officiated their wedding never signed the paperwork. Though she's momentarily thrilled to discover she's a "hippie," Maria soon realizes it's time for another gargantuan wedding to set things right.
John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll) will reprise his role as Toula's husband Ian Miller, alongside returning stars Andrea Martin, Rita Wilson, Ian Gomez, Gia Carides, Louis Mandylor, and Joey Fatone. John Stamos, currently starring in FOX's Grandfathered, is a new addition to the cast. Vardalos will executive produce with Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer, Norm Waitt, Steven Shareshian. Wilson, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman have also signed on as producers. Kirk Jones (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) is the director, this time around.
With the failure of a short-lived sitcom follow-up (My Big Fat Greek Life) to the first film and more than a decade of time in between, launching a sequel seems like a risky choice. The passage of time may benefit this project, however, giving the writer more new material to work with. As Vardalos told Variety last year about the new script:
"Now that I'm experiencing motherhood, I’m ready to write the next chapter of my family story. Of course, a few jaded folks in the press corps will claim I ran out of money or just want to kiss John Corbett again. One of these things is true."
With the original cast chemistry still intact, the trailer hints at plenty of entertaining moments of family drama, minor catastrophes, and humor you would cringe to hear from your own crazy relatives. The relatable themes of dealing with overprotective parents, planning your future, and wedding stress should appeal to a wide audience. As long as the sequel doesn't wear out its welcome by trying to be a carbon copy of the original, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 could prove to be another hit for Vardalos.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 debuts in U.S. theaters on March 25th, 2016.