“Now you must wake up, all dreams must end

Take off your makeup, the party’s over

It’s all over, my friend.”

— From the song “The Party’s Over,” by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Remember summer camp, or your first big high school play, when you all said, “God, that was fun. Let’s all get together next year and do it again”? Or how about that party where everything fell into place without a single flaw, and we all chimed, “We have to do this again next year”?

Well, sometimes next year comes, we put on the same costumes, hang the same colored crepe paper, put on the old records, and then only a few come back, and those who do are in the kitchen arguing about Hillary, Donald and Bernie.


Favorite foods we once gobbled down now give us indigestion and gas. The old songs don’t “light up our lives” anymore.

And so it is with Nia Vardalos’ sweet rehash of her once fun and lively life story.

In 2002, that young, ebullient, charming Greek lady gave us “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” It was young, ebullient and charming; but sadly, youth flies, ebullience wanes and charm doesn’t go as far as it once did.

In this outing, the entire cast that many fell in love with has been resurrected, dressed, made up, given scripts and shoved out in front of the cameras. But the lights don’t work, the power’s gone, and the dialogue is corny and dated.

Vardalos is, as her character, Toula Portokalos, is, still a delightful, sweet and innocent woman, trying her hardest to pull it off, and she has some superior help. The entire cast is here with a new director (Kirk Jones, of “Waking Ned Devine.)

John Corbett is back, now a high school principal, but still the same straight-edged Corbett he always was.


They have a teenage daughter, Paris — a real Greek girl, by the way (a lovely, big, olive-eyed Elena Kampouris.)

Fans now past middle age will be happy to know that 88-year-old Papa Gus (Michael Constantine), Mama Maria (Lainie Kazan) and the ever present Andrea Martin’s Aunt Voula are all here; and there is even another big, fat, wedding to go to and dance to some finger-snapping Zorba music. Papa’s little Greek cafe is still open but will probably, after this movie folds, be sold to become a new Starbucks.

The wedding is provided by a mistake: It seems that Papa and Mama’s old country priest, a dropout seminarian, forgot to sign their wedding certificate, thus rendering them, after 55 years, unwed. Groan.

The cute young teen daughter is suffering now from the constant presence of her parents. Mama is always volunteering to help out at school, and Dad is the principal. And to add to the angst, young Paris is ready to go to college and wants to get the hell out of Chicago and the suffocating smell of baklava and garlic.

The subplot then, is for the family to all get together to find Paris a cute neighborhood boy to fall in love with so that she’ll stay. Good luck with that.

There are some new grown children and grandbabies thrown in like fresh fruit to liven up the stale salad, but it doesn’t have the same flavor.


Everyone, of course, is cute and lovable. That’s what a sitcom demands, and there isn’t a Bernie Sanders grouch in the pack.

Each actor seems to be having a good time. Hey, a paycheck is a paycheck; and with this crowd, there are pensions and insurance checks to be considered.

I’m sure that in all the aging ethnic neighborhoods from Chicago to Brooklyn, St.Louis to Cleveland, there are folks who will love the movie — except all the aging ethnic folks the movie would appeal to, sadly, don’t go to the movies anymore. They’re all watching similar but updated hokum like “Modern Family” at home, where, at least, the bathrooms are closer.

J.P Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

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