Yes, I'm sure that we've all seen 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' at some stage, being a popular, successful romantic comedy, enjoyed by the whole family. But the sequel, 'My Life in Ruins,' had many negative reviews from critics. And if you're living in Greece today, you'll know that we are often portrayed as the Greeks who lived many years ago, even though our culture has changed somewhat over time. Although much of what we see in the movie certainly does hit home, it's often exaggerated to Western audiences. We have become more European and are a modern country, where one would have to go to a village to see an entirely traditional Greek wedding. Hence, the sequel could have improved by breaking with tradition a little.
"The beauty of our heritage is rooted in the fact that it never changes" and we see younger generations telling the same jokes and stories as our forefathers.
The sequel continues with Toula's life, which is literally in ruins. She loses her travel agency, the family dry cleaning business shuts and all that is left is her father's restaurant. She and her husband, Ian are struggling with their married life. He is the headmaster of the school which is attended by their daughter, Paris. She feels smothered by her family, being so close, and thinks of applying to study in another city. Choosing a college becomes quite a challenge for her. As Paris faces this decision, we see how Greeks have sometimes got to loosen up on tradition to continue with their lives and live out their hopes and dreams.
This sequel shows how Toula learns that "being a daughter" doesn't always mean an end to romance and by having a daughter "she learns that an empty nest doesn't have to mean the end of parenthood."
Then, there is Gus, who thinks that he is a descendant of Alexander the Great and becomes obsessed with setting up his ancestry site so that he can prove this to everyone. He later learns that his marriage to his wife, Maria is not legal as the marriage certificate was never signed. She's not too happy about going through the whole wedding ceremony again, and so he sets out to prove his love to her. Inevitably, theirs becomes another big, fat Greek wedding!
Although many parts of the movie dialogue are predictable and have been heard one too many times, there are those funny scenes which make it a decent, romantic comedy. Of course, it can be annoying when the West depicts our culture the way they do, but the truth is that we're proud to be Greek and see ourselves as friendly, hospitable people. So, if they want to make a movie about us, why not?
No matter what your opinion of this sequel, there is bound to be something about the film that pulls at your heartstrings and will give you a good laugh.