The Reel Review
My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Portokalos family is back, this time heading to Greece to visit the tiny village that was the ancestral home of the family’s late patriarch, Gus. The goal? To present his personal journal to Gus’ three childhood friends and celebrate his life in the village. Nia Vardalos stars, writes, and directs this third film about life in a large, loud, lovable Greek family.
With absolutely stunning visuals of the Greek countryside that could be straight out of a travel program, Vardalos creates a sweet bookend to her saga after a not-so-great second film that had a forced, paint-by-numbers vibe to it. In this more emotion-packed sequel, Vardalos gives nearly all of the family members meatier roles, and it makes them even more likable.
Andrea Martin, as meddling, wisecracking, ouzo sipping Aunt Voula, remains the most obvious crowd-pleaser, with a handful of new characters, including Melina Kotselou as the cousin and non-binary mayor of the tiny six-person village and Stephanie Nur (Special Ops: Lioness) as a Syrian immigrant who is secretly dating another distant family member.
A few painfully corny and stereotypical jokes aside, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is a charming, low stakes tale with a big heart – a utopian portrait of family life celebrating inclusion and love, with deftly handled nods to trickier issues such as aging/dementia, sexual identity, family scandal and immigration, all handled with a wink, a hug and a smile. Is it totally realistic? It doesn’t matter. You’ll leave the theater wiping away a tear of joy and wearing a big smile, and that’s what does. Opa!
• Emmy award winner Michael Constantine (Room 222), who played Windex-loving Portokalos family patriarch Gus, died of natural causes at his home in Reading, Pennsylvania on August 31, 2021 at the age of 94. He was the son of Greek immigrants.
• 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding is STILL the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, earning a whopping $368.7 million at the box office.
• My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 was filmed in Athens and on the island of Corfu.