My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3

  • 23 Sep - 29 Sep, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

There are films that are essentially shaggy-dog stories; the plot seems to meander around aimlessly for a long time until it finally gets to the point. Then there are films that are more like shaggy dogs, with lots of activity serving just a hazy sense of amusement. The third installment of Nia Vardalos' endearingly low-stakes series – there was also a brief TV series – clearly falls into the latter category. There aren't nearly as many chuckles as in the original, but it does at least take place in a beautiful setting and with generally kind people.

Vardalos, who this time also serves as director in addition to authoring the script and playing the lead role, reprises her role as Toula, the Greek-American who briefly stunned her family 20 years ago by bringing the WASP-like Ian (John Corbett) home. After the passing of her father Gus (the late Michael Constantine), she is finally taking him to see her family's roots in Greece. She also brings along her daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris), aunt Voula (Andrea Martin, a frequent scene-stealer), and brother Nick (Louis Mandylor). They swiftly adopt or befriend everyone left in Gus' village, which is almost entirely deserted, even as Toula worries about finding her father's old acquaintances as promised and Nick tries to carry out one of Gus' final desires.

Vardalos clearly has a great deal of love for the large, devoted Portokalos family; after all, they were modelled after her own family. At times, they may make you think of your own loved ones; put that down to Tolstoy's dictum that all happy families are similar. However, they are also incredibly generic characters that engage in ceaseless antics, so any affection you feel has to get you through countless tedious set pieces. A movie about hanging out that doesn't go anywhere can be entertaining, but this one labour endlessly to offer its many characters a few moments of connection and discovery while yet giving the sensation that nothing has truly happened. Although everything is harmless and even endearing, this one-joke concept is now dustier than the Parthenon. This is only required viewing for Portakalos devotees and is as action-packed as a vacation sleep on a hot afternoon. However, Vardalos' genuine love for the characters gives it a warmth that keeps it going despite the humour' lameness.