Some might say 14 years is too long to wait for a sequel to Nia Vardalos's hit 2002 romcom. But they'd be wrong

Back in 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the sleeper hit that absolutely no one saw coming. In fact, it was the very definition of a sleeper: making $241.4m at the US box office alone, it was the highest-grossing film in history to spend not a single weekend at #1, and hung around for a whole year at cinemas achieving this impressive feat.

Fourteen years seems a long time to wait for a sequel – as it turns out, not nearly long enough. If you thought the first film depended on some fairly broad ethnic stereotyping, checking in with this complete cast reunion is akin to being trussed from the ceiling of a dubious taverna, having sky blue stripes painted down you lengthways while encircled by mad lute players, and force-fed moussaka until it starts oozing from your ears.

Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of the first film, is back in both capacities as Toula, now a harassed mother with the dating woes of her 17-year-old daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) to worry about. Grandpa Kostas (veteran character actor Michael Constantine) already thinks Paris should be getting on with the whole marriage thing, and has a falling out with his own wife (Lainie Kazan) when it transpires no one signed their wedding certificate.

Elena Kampouris and Alex Wolff in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Credit: George Kraychyk

Meanwhile, Toula struggles to rekindle the magic with her husband Ian (John Corbett), and for very good reason: as they stand next to each other approximating a series of human conversations, the two actors click about as naturally as Gérard Depardieu and a bowl of quinoa.

Perhaps by virtue of being the newcomer, Kampouris is the one person in this cast you have a bit of time for. There’s a very fine line, though, between playing the awkward teen stricken and embarrassed by Greek matriarchal tradition, and merely being the actress added to this thing: her constant facial signalling of “get me out of here” is hardly a tough route to audience empathy.

It’s too disposable a film to get especially huffy about, but the laziness of the writing and acting takes a creeping, spirit-sapping toll. Honestly, not one joke lands: not the one about a wizened gran hiding under the table with spanakopita, not “Greek don’t creak”, certainly not the constant stream of oversharing from Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) about one of her ovaries “pinging out eggs” and having a concealed mole the shape of Mykonos.

When Toula teaches her father for an entire scene how a mouse works, on an incredibly antiquated-looking desktop computer, the idea has no point except for its intended hilarity – old people! So behind with technology!

Like most other scenes, you somehow yearn to put it out of its misery, maybe by draping a black cloth across the projection window and simply calling it a day.