"WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE DON'T EAT NO MEAT?"
November 11, 2015 2:44 PM   Subscribe

You know, a little known fact about the Greeks is that they invented The Sequel. So, in the finest tradition of their ancestors, the Portokalos family will be returning to the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, this coming March.

Background
Back in 2002, a small, independent film broke box office records: My Big Fat Greek Wedding cost only $5 million to make, but grossed an astonishing $241 million in the US and $127 million internationally, making it one of the most profitable movies of all time. In fact, Wedding remains the highest grossing romantic comedy ever released in the U.S.

A 2003 sequel sitcom on CBS didn't fare quite as well, lasting only 7 episodes.
posted by zarq (50 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
A 2003 sequel sitcom on CBS didn't fare quite as well
No, no it did not.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:51 PM on November 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


*pet peeve* I really hate it when they just slap a 2 on the original title; yeah, I know that people won't know it's a sequel otherwise, but it's not about her big fat Greek wedding anymore.

I loved the original movie, and I really hope this is decent and not just a cheap attempt at trying to recreate the box office returns and/or the actors needing money.
posted by Melismata at 2:54 PM on November 11, 2015


If I spray Windex on this sequel, will it go away?
posted by Kabanos at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2015 [25 favorites]


I guess "My Big Fat Greek Divorce" didn't test very well with audiences.
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on November 11, 2015 [23 favorites]


"No meat? It's alright, I make lamb."
Also, I don't know if this was the television show, or unauthorized, but I'm convinced I saw a sequel to MBFGW where she travels to Greece as a tour guide...
posted by shenkerism at 2:58 PM on November 11, 2015


That was just another movie starring Nia Vardalos. Not well received.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


That was My Life in Ruins, where she played an unrelated character. IIRC, it got panned.
posted by Melismata at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2015


On the upside, I'm glad the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Queen St. in Toronto got some more cash pretending to be Greek and in Chicago.
posted by Kabanos at 3:03 PM on November 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


a little known fact about the Greeks is that they invented The Sequel

Yeah, but Oresteia 2: Electric Boogaloo was pretty disappointing.
posted by sobarel at 3:08 PM on November 11, 2015 [23 favorites]


Melismata, maybe she kills her first husband and then escapes to the old country to start a new life and falls in love with a local guy who thinks she is a Virgin. And then she has another big fat Greek wedding except this time it's in greece! And then her new husband discovers she's not a Virgin and hes all old fashioned so to protect her secret she kills him too, but he's a wealthy shipping magnate so then she becomes like the richest person in Greece and then gets elected president except she's a murderer and then an enterprising journalist starts digging around and she's like "fuck it, I've already killed twice what's another one" and besides now she's got more to lose.

So she's chasing the guy in her helicopter and she shoots a missile but it hits a school bus instead and all these little kids are running around on fire and it kinda destroys her but she's also a survivor, so she just locks off her soul and doubles down on her brutality. And then the journalist escapes to the US and is all "the president of Greece is a maniac, like more than usual" and then she buys a nuclear weapon and launches it and then there's a nuclear war and everybody dies the end.
posted by kingv at 3:11 PM on November 11, 2015 [32 favorites]


Hey, remember when little movies could assemble some word-of-mouth and actually climb the box office charts? MBFGW was in the top 20 for 43 weeks -- neither Avatar nor Titanic was even in theaters that long at all (and that counts the Titanic 3D rerelease too). It didn't peak (incredibly, at #2, under three different movies over three weekends) until week 20. Its weekend box office numbers fell and then rose ten times -- to return to the comparison, Avatar and Titanic had that happen ten times combined. People were probably conceived on date nights that started at this movie and born while it was still in theaters.

Whew. Sorry, I just remember seeing the first one really early in its run at a basement brick-wall theater in Northampton, Massachusetts, when it was just a cute little indie romcom, and then it slowly, inexorably, became this gigantic thing. It was fascinating.
posted by Etrigan at 3:12 PM on November 11, 2015 [30 favorites]


I would buy a ticket for this if they just renamed it to My Big Fat Greek Ass.

MY BIG FAT GREEK ASS

You know what everyone can kiss?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:21 PM on November 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


I tried and failed to quite the original in a meeting today. You know the Greek movie? The thing with the head and the neck and the lady is like, well I am the neck and I move the head? No? Ok.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:34 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


*cough* payback.

Ya know, I was eye-rolly over this and then sucked in within about 20 seconds.
posted by phearlez at 3:50 PM on November 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


kingv: “Melismata, maybe she kills her first husband and then escapes to the old country to start a new life and falls in love with a local guy who thinks she is a Virgin. And then she has another big fat Greek wedding except this time it's in greece! And then her new husband discovers she's not a Virgin and hes all old fashioned so to protect her secret she kills him too, but he's a wealthy shipping magnate so then she becomes like the richest person in Greece and then gets elected president except she's a murderer and then an enterprising journalist starts digging around and she's like 'fuck it, I've already killed twice what's another one' and besides now she's got more to lose. So she's chasing the guy in her helicopter and she shoots a missile but it hits a school bus instead and all these little kids are running around on fire and it kinda destroys her but she's also a survivor, so she just locks off her soul and doubles down on her brutality. And then the journalist escapes to the US and is all 'the president of Greece is a maniac, like more than usual' and then she buys a nuclear weapon and launches it and then there's a nuclear war and everybody dies the end.”

Well, sure – but isn't it a bit crass when a movie is just obviously setting everything up for a third sequel, though?
posted by koeselitz at 3:53 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ya know, I was eye-rolly over this and then sucked in within about 20 seconds.

Yeah, I did not know Voorhees was a Greek name, but when Jason showed up, I could Argonaut believe it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:53 PM on November 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why is everyone hating on it?
2 surprises for me:

1. Joey fatone from nsync is in the sequel as well.
2. John Stamos...known for being Greek on full house is joining too.

Also, as a side note:

I was 9 years old when I saw Uncle Jesse for the first time. Im 37 now. How is that mofo looking younger than me?

Have mercy.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:59 PM on November 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


Oh look they finally figured out that Sigmas aren't Es.
posted by ckape at 3:59 PM on November 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


The thing that really bugged me about the first installment was using Σ for E in the title. IT. IS. NOT. THE. SAME. GODDAMN. LETTER. Thank you.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:02 PM on November 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


See, that's why you shouldn't waste time look things up while on preview.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:04 PM on November 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


what is that in unicode? &fancye;?
posted by indubitable at 4:12 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


installment was using Σ for E in the title.
I just figured they were summing the title.
posted by benzenedream at 4:21 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


"My Big Fat Greek Divorce ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ "
posted by Fizz at 4:22 PM on November 11, 2015


Andrea Martin is a Canadian treasure.
posted by Nevin at 4:26 PM on November 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Here's to hoping they work in this Toronto house as a location.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:46 PM on November 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here are some of the locations used in the original.

It was neat seeing a movie that became such a commercial success use locations I used to walk by a few times a week when I lived right around Greektown.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:50 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really should watch this one again, as I don't remember it that well. I do remember that one of my favourite parts was the succession of awful guys that Toula's father brings home in an effort to lure her away from her non-Greek fiancé. That montage was almost exactly what it's been like when certain people in my life presumed to try to find a man for me. All the guys I was presented with were completely impossible for concrete reasons, i.e., old enough to be my father, semi-literate, alcoholic, a total pig with no manners, or what have you, and then the would-be matchmaker (who had tried to force the match in a really obvious, embarrassing way), would then take it upon herself or himself to lecture me for "not thinking anyone was good enough for me" and tell me "it was my own fault I was single".

I'm still single, but parting company from the matchmakers made me much, much happier.
posted by orange swan at 5:00 PM on November 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


@ecogrrl and I are going to watch the shit out of that film. All you haters can suck it.

I've promised my daughter that we'll watch both in succession when she's older.

Danforth, represent!
posted by clvrmnky at 5:05 PM on November 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


The first movie was actually on earlier today when I was working from my home office. It is earnestly cute, with good timing and editing and pretty original jokes with a light, but also fairly original plot line. For example, they skipped the classic Act II of the couple breaking up, trying to move on, only to rejoin in true and accepting love in Act III. I feel the first movie largely exhausted the topic because the novelty of jokes about a big, very involved family (here, Greek) can only last about 90 minutes, both for those new to that type of family and those that grew up in one.

I had hoped that maybe they could find a new direction, maybe even scrape in some big Greek family humor on topics not covered in the first, but they're instead circling the thing around yet another wedding? I'm concerned about this sequel. It looks like a forced plot line used just to have that other wedding, which I am sadly guessing someone said was needed to green light this thing given the sitcom death. The characters now seem to lack originality. How many times have you seen a stale introduction of a grumpy teenager who in the end comes around to loving her family and who she is? Throw in reoccurring comic bits from one older character designated to say sexually inappropriate things. Mix with other older characters that are mostly there to play on not funny "I'm old" jokes recycled a hundred times from other movies. The characters we felt close to in the first movie may well have been reduced to carbon copies of themselves photoshopped onto characters we've seen before (78% of them played by Robert De Nero at this point).

I'll wait for the reviews and hope for the best, because I really like the actors, but I'm not holding by breath.
posted by Muddler at 5:13 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been meaning to ask this, and this seems like a good place. Is MBFGW worth watching if you love intelligent movies of all genres but find romantic comedies basically the hardest sell? The list of other romantic comedies I have liked is basically: Love Actually, The Princess Bride.
posted by 256 at 5:27 PM on November 11, 2015


I do remember that one of my favourite parts was the succession of awful guys that Toula's father brings home in an effort to lure her away from her non-Greek fiancé.

I love that montage, especially the moment her brother catches her eye and subtlety shakes his head. Such a great moment and absolutely the kind of thing my brother used to do.

I squeed when I saw the trailer earlier today. One of my favorite comfort movies. I don't even care if it is bad, I'm still going to watch it.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:34 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whenever we have lamb* I'm fond of shouting:

"Vegetarian?"
*claps hands*
"Is ok! I make lamb!"

*I was a vegetarian when the original movie came out.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:49 PM on November 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been meaning to ask this, and this seems like a good place. Is MBFGW worth watching if you love intelligent movies of all genres but find romantic comedies basically the hardest sell?

So here's the thing about MBFGW that I personally think is why it struck such a chord -- there are no villains. There's no one in the movie who isn't genuinely fond of and looking out for everyone else in the movie, not even in some low-key Tyler Durden "I'm doing this for your own good!" kind of way. Sure, the parents try to get her to marry a nice Greek boy, but they don't try to undercut her relationship with the WASPy guy. As Muddler points out, it skips a lot of those basic "worlds collide" rom-com plot points in favor of just saying, "Hey, people are different, but people are basically nice too, and sometimes you tell your sister's new boyfriend to yell 'I have three testicles!' in Greek because you really do like him and that's just how you treat other guys you like."

So... yeah, you'll probably like it. And if you don't, it won't make your life worse for having watched it.
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 PM on November 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


My mom made my sisters and me see this movie in the theater because it bore uncanny similarity to her own big fat Armenian wedding to my pale, shy, vegetarian dad.
posted by town of cats at 6:42 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


MBFGW was probably my dad's favorite movie. My mom is Greek, and we saw it in the theater with my Yiayia. It resonated. He quoted it all the time and had his own idea for a sequel. He died exactly a month ago. I wish I could see this with him.

Sorry to be a super bummer, guys.
posted by apricot at 7:31 PM on November 11, 2015 [21 favorites]


So sorry for your loss, apricot.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:07 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think it's really resonant for anybody who has a big family that they love but that can be a little much at times. MBFGW manages to find a lot of the absurdity in it without being mean or talking down. "Parenthood" the TV show is another media property where I felt like they caught the essence of being in a big, complex family who actually like each other. They sometimes screw up or fight or make each other nuts but they're all on the same team.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:15 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's actually a really lovely, quiet moment in the original film when Toula and her mother are doing some wedding prep late at night, and her mother digs out the wreath that Toula will wear as part of the service. It's one her mother wore, and her grandmother wore it before her. And with the wreath they find an antique photo of a lovely young woman wearing a wedding gown.

And Toula's grandmother comes in - up to this point she's only been some kind of comic relief. But she wobbles over and sees them looking at the photo. Then she pokes at the photo, then at herself, beaming at Toula - "this was me in MY wedding dress." And then Toula's mother perches the wreath on Toula's head, and all look at Toula in the mirror - grandmother and mother fondly, and Toula with wonder.

It was really lovely.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 PM on November 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


Is MBFGW worth watching if you love intelligent movies of all genres but find romantic comedies basically the hardest sell?

I don't even think it's a romantic comedy in quite that way. Sure, there's a wedding but it's not two hours of flirting and contrived misunderstandings so they only hook up at the end. They are together and want to be together and aren't going to get spit up because they act like sixth graders listening to gossip or being mean to members of the opposite gender. The comedy is more about an adult couple managing a fish-out-of-water/worlds-collide type situation.

Now that I've described it that way I feel immature for not actually liking it much. I would completely see kingv's sequel though.
posted by mark k at 9:14 PM on November 11, 2015


I had no idea this was coming and so since I saw the trailer this morning I've pretty much been in a state of perpetual SQUEEEEEEEEE just all day SQUEEEEEEEE

I'm not Greek, but I come from a wide-ranging semi-bananas Louisiana family and I related so hard to the first movie in so many ways. It's just such a delightful film. One of my true favorites. I have such high hopes for the sequel.

It does appear to be coming out at the same time as the new Superman movie, which ended up not being the conflict I briefly imagined it might. I have found the one thing that will utterly trump my queer-girl crush on Henry Cavill. Amazing.
posted by angeline at 9:49 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oresteia 2: Electric Boogaloo

I think that might have been the first trilogy, but surely the first sequel was
ILIAD II: Lassie Come Home.
posted by bitslayer at 5:46 AM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is one of those movies that I remember being really popular, and then haven't thought about for 10 years, and all of a sudden it turns out everyone has been hating it this whole time. What happened? Have there been secret monthly hate clubs that no one invited me to? Is this movie Hitler and I didn't realize it at the time?
posted by Think_Long at 6:49 AM on November 12, 2015


There was some backlash at the time from proto-hipsters who couldn't handle the cognitive dissonance of an indie movie making $240M. And sure, it's not the Greatest Movie Of All Time, nor even the Greatest Rom-Com Of All Time, so clearly it was a horrible piece of crap because it made more money than [insert favorite indie|rom-com here].

(I will admit -- its Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay made me roll my eyes hard, because there's no way that would have happened if it had made $24M, but the Academy loves success out of nowhere.)
posted by Etrigan at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2015


It's the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time. If you think the critics treated it poorly, the were much nicer to it than to the 2nd highest-grossing Canadian film. (Perhaps they shouldn't have used the vocal star of Bojack Horseman as the main character in a kid's movie...)
posted by clawsoon at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2015


I, for one, am looking forward to seeing it. I though the first one was terrific and deserved to make a shitload of money.
posted by Dolley at 9:27 AM on November 12, 2015


all of a sudden it turns out everyone has been hating it this whole time. What happened?
This is a pretty common experience to have when Metafilter starts talking about any movie, TV show or celebrity. Decent, meaningful critiques are posted but also random reasons for hating it and often subtle jabs at anyone who dare like it. It is shocking when it first happens and eventually you grow to expect it.
posted by soelo at 11:01 AM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread is bizarre; the only comment that appears to be hating is Kabanos's fairly light little jab with the Windex reference, then a whole bunch of people proclaiming that the haters can suck it. What an odd thread.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:31 AM on November 12, 2015


Yeah, I may be conflating the attitude in this thread with other, snarkier web communities I read.

Maybe I'm just mad that they're not making a sequel to 2000's Return to Me. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN
posted by Think_Long at 11:45 AM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's a detail that really should have been in the movie.... Some years back when a Greek-Canadian friend of a friend got married in her late twenties, my friend told me the bride's mother was over the moon. For years the mother of the bride had had an elaborate crystal picture frame sitting in her living room with the stock photo still in it, waiting for the day when her daughter should be married and give her a wedding photo to display in it.
posted by orange swan at 12:20 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


a little known fact about the Greeks is that they invented The Sequel

Yeah, but Oresteia 2: Electric Boogaloo was pretty disappointing.


On the other hand, Tyler Perry has apparently turned Medea into quite a successful franchise. Granted it was a pretty radical reboot of the original series.
posted by Naberius at 12:46 PM on November 12, 2015


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