It is full of so much joy, and so much heart, celebrating family, culture, and love, while also emphasizing that even the most ancient of civilizations aren't completely trapped in the past, especially if the new generation has anything to say about it.
The film is still very watchable, and it has a lot of heart that makes up for its overall lack of focus and certain emotional throughlines. But where cohesiveness and pacing are concerned, this sequel leaves a lot to be desired.
If “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” felt like a pale imitation of the buoyant original, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” feels sorta like a pale imitation of that pale imitation. Or, to analogize with a favored franchise food item: like a thrice-warmed piece of baklava.
The players vary in their commitments, from barely worth the effort to trying too hard. The third act delivers a couple of warm moments that lift it. But this picture’s a corpse still being shock-paddled and CPR-pounded on the operating table.
IN A NUTSHELL:
In the newest addition to the My Big Fat Greek Wedding franchise, the kooky family travels to Greece for a long-awaited family reunion. Nia Vardalos stars in this with her break-out role AND directs the whole party.
The story is supposed to take place one year after the events of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
THINGS I LIKED:
Fans of the franchise will get a kick out of seeing their favorite Greek family again.
We get to see a lot of Greece! I finally got to travel there a few years ago. I absolutely LOVED the food. Greek food is so much better when you're actually in Greece! We hit all of the big tourist spots all over the country. We even took a quick flight so we could visit Santorini. So great! I always love traveling in movies too, because it gives me ideas for my Travel Bucket List. One of the characters is Syrian, so we get to learn a little bit about Syrian dance moves.
There's an important conversation in the movie about how people work all of their lives, saving their money, hoping they'll have their health to travel once they retire. I know a lot of people who have that philosophy but my husband I don't. We recognize that tomorrow isn't promised, so we are committed to traveling as much as we can now while we work.
We get to see all of our fan favorites, as well as meet a few new ones. The cast includes Nia Vardalos (who is perfect in the role of Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos), John Corbett (still as handsome as ever), Andrea Martin (always hilarious), Lainie Kazan, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, and even Joey Fatone!
Missing from the cast are Michael Constantine, Bruce Gray, and Constantine Vardalos. Sadly, they all passed away since the last movie. This film is dedicated to them.
One scene I remember from the very first film in the franchise is when all of the women pulled back each other's necks when taking a photo. I've done that with my friends and sisters on occasion for laughs. In this movie, a new character in Greece teaches the Americans another tip for the perfect photo. Ha ha
Speaking of the perfect shot, Barry Peterson has the lucky job as a cinematographer in the film. It's hard to take a bad shot when you're in beautiful Greece!
Both Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Rita Wilson worked as producers with Nia Vardalos serving as the Executive Producer AND director.
Stephanie Economou offers some original music, which is fun.
There is a very real element in the story of the matriarch in the family who now has dementia. My mother recently passed away. She struggled with Alzheimer's for many years, so the scenes in the movie that showed Maria Portokalos always made me sad.
There are some touching moments when childhood friends are reunited.
There are some cute moments and running gags.
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE:
It's not nearly as funny as we all wished it were.
The story doesn't flow well
.It sure is convenient that everyone in Greece can speak English with the characters in the story!
There is a romance in the story but the couple is already together and complete strangers to the family. They finally admit they want to get married. That's it. That's not how I would describe a rom-com.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Kids will probably be bored. Sadly, so will some adults.
Some Greek is spoken with and without subtitles.
Lots of alcohol. Some people get drunk.
We see full-frontal nudity of a man, except he holds a soda bottle in front of his junk so we, thankfully, don't have to see that.
A man shaves a lot of body parts in front of everyone.
Nia Vardalos returns as star, writer and director (for the first time). In honor of her character's recently-deceased father, she takes the whole family to his childhood village in Greece for a reunion. It's also a reunion of the original cast with a few new faces. Luckily, Andrea Martin is back as the overbearing aunt, because she provides the only real laughs. Otherwise, there are short little scenes with various visitors having moments of connection with each other or the country. Actually, there are so many subplots that none of them generate much interest. While there's an undeniable upbeat energy, the comedy tries too hard or just falls flat. The final line of my review to the first sequel sums this 3rd one too, "Audiences who prefer broad, obvious, family-style humor may find it sweetly appealing."
Nia Vardalos experienced an enormous and incredibly unexpected success in 2002 with My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and since then, it appears she has been determined to replicate that achievement with those same characters.
It is said that lightning never strikes twice in the same place - which is actual **** because they totally do - However, I believe Vardalos should have recognized that lightning wasn't likely to strike again for her in the same way.
The TV show was a huge flop, canceled after only seven episodes. The second film recouped its investment but fell extremely short of what the original film achieved, and this third installment may also turn a profit, but its notable lack of ideas, style and humor makes it evident that the story of these characters should have remained confined to the 2002 film and not been extended beyond that.
This is without exaggeration one of the worst movies I have ever seen. From the actors to the script. It's a wonder this movie made it to theaters. Most scenes are build around 1 joke from one of the characters that is not funny because of the acting and thin layer of the story. At times it feels like you are watching a primary school musical. Definitely not worth your time or money.