Some sequels should just never be made

Some sequels should just never be made

Like a car limping along on under-inflated tires, this gets to where it’s going, but the ride is pretty bumpy. Revisiting the Portokalos family was probably a better idea on paper than it actually is on screen. Back in 2002, the original movie written by its star, Nia Vardalos, was a phenomenal hit with its fish-out-of-water cross culture story.

As Toula, the spinster daughter of Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), Vardalos brought her Greek heritage to life with this fictitious family based on her own. When she meets Ian (John Corbett) and they decide to wed, the jokes created themselves with her overbearing extended family juxtaposed against Ian’s WASP-y upbringing.

Now with “2” set almost 18 years later, it seems the Portkalos family has nothing new to bring to the story except a new character, Paris (Elena Kampouris), the 17-year old daughter of Ian and Toula who chafes against her meddling, overprotective family as much as Toula did.

Who can blame her? The family lives on the same street, wandering out of each other’s homes at will, getting into everyone’s business and offering not-so-good advice to one another. As a high school senior, I’d be a little put off if my granddad kept after me to get married before I “shriveled up.”

But here’s the lame ironical premise of this sequel — after all these years of nagging everyone to marry, it seems Gus and Maria really aren’t legally married because the priest forgot to sign the marriage certificate all those years ago.

Now Marie wants the kind of wedding she never really had, a big affair like Toula and Ian had, and she is determined to have it. Let me tell you that you won’t soon forget the sight of the very zaftig Laine Kazan in a fluffy white wedding dress and veil.

The other subplot involves Paris wanting to go away — far, far away — to college to escape her hovering family. Of course they want her to stay right there in Chicago and go to Northwestern, even going so far as to wreck College Night at her high school to make it happen.

The recycled jokes from the first movie land with a splat, and you can’t help but get the feeling the thing that’s really missing is a laugh track to fill in the uncomfortable silences. Vardalos seems oddly muted as if she’s not allowed to make any jokes, just play the straight man to her mugging family. As in the first movie, the real star is Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula, who offers up such pithy wisdom as telling Toula to “shave everything” for her date night with Ian.

Sorry to say it, but “MBFGW2” is as stale as week-old baklava.

The bigger story this week was the super thud of highly anticipated “Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice.” Put the blame squarely on director Zack Snyder, who is guilty of the “more is more” theory with bigger, louder action sequences that leave audiences numb and bored. What a waste to bring two superhero icons together and squander the opportunity. Super snore.