Weddings are inherently joyful occasions, which is why Shakespeare ended most of his comedies with at least one. You have to be a real crank to be angry at a wedding.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” rode those matrimonial good vibes to become a smash hit (by independent film standards) over 20(!) years ago.
Writer and star Nia Vardalos went back to the “Big Fat Greek” well a few times for a television show and a sequel in 2016.
We are now back for more in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” as Vardalos now adds director to her slate of skills. I will say this up front, this is not a very good movie. But, just as it is hard to be a grouch at a wedding, even with this movie’s shortcomings, I did not have a bad time watching it – thanks mostly to the charming cast and the beautiful Greek countryside the film is set against.
Vardalos still plays Toula, an often-exasperated member of a large, rowdy, Greek-immigrant family living in Chicago. Her father Gus (played by Michael Constantine in the first two films) has passed away and with his dying wish he has tasked Toula with returning a journal to his childhood friends in Greece.
When an invitation to a reunion in his old village arrives in the mail, Toula packs up her non-Greek, but amiable husband Ian (John Corbett), their college-aged daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) her loudmouthed brother Nick (Louis Mandylor) and a couple of aunts (Andrea Martin and Maria Vacratsis) for a trip to the old country.
Upon arrival, it becomes clear that the village has fallen on hard times and most of its residents have moved away, but enterprising village mayor Victory (Melina Kotselou) hopes the reunion will inspire people to move back.
This throws a wrench in Toula’s plans to meet her father’s friends and while she searches for them, the rest of the family have various little adventures with rolling hills of olive groves or the glistening Aegean Sea calling from the background.
The plot of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” is a big, fat mess with some of the side-stories leaving you feeling like you’ve wandered into a below-average Hallmark movie.
There are some laughs to be found, thanks mostly to the exploits of Nick and the aunties, but for the most part, the proceedings feel forced and contrived.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” is like being invited to a wedding where you don’t really know anyone and you feel a tad out of place. Would you rather be at home watching football? Sure. But there is an open bar and the young couple look happy and attractive and hey, they’re playing your song on the dance floor. Who could possibly be upset about that?
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” is rated PG-13 for suggestive material and some nudity.