FILM REVIEW — More Greek family silliness in latest movie

Published 12:06 am Saturday, September 9, 2023

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“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3”

Focus Features

Directed by Nia Vardalos

Starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lanie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Joey Fatone, Louis Mandylor and Gia Carides

Rated PG-13

2 Stars

When “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” hit theaters back in 2002, audiences all around the world fell in love with the film’s Greek-flavored comedy.

The movie became one of the year’s biggest hits, grossing $368,000,000 globally. Unfortunately, that love had mostly dissipated when the sequel stalled at the box office fourteen years later, and I fear that the third film in the franchise will go mostly unnoticed when it hits theaters this weekend.

That’s a shame because while I won’t say that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” comes anywhere close to recapturing the magic of the original, it nevertheless features another family-first story and a handful of genuinely funny performances.

I’ll admit that this isn’t cutting-edge comedy, but let’s not dismiss the film just because it has more modest expectations.

This latest story follows the extended Portokalos clan as they jet off for a family reunion in Greece. Hijinx and mayhem ensues as the Americanized Greeks clash with their cousins back in the homeland.

That’s really all that you need to know about the story. The formula is simple: take a bunch of awkward-yet-endearing characters and throw them into a stressful situation, then sit back and wait for the laughs.

Formula is the operative word here, as much of this film feels like it was written as a by-the-numbers TV sitcom. There simply aren’t many memorable comic moments in this movie, although I am always down to watch Andrea Martin playing Aunt Voula.

She once again provides the film’s break out performance.

Vardalos and John Corbett are also quite engaging, playing the film’s (mostly) sane central couple, but it’s the mayhem caused by the crazy relatives that gives the film much of its energy.

Say what you like about the obviously simplistic level of the humor in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” but there’s no denying that this game cast keeps things entertaining.

As for the family bonding moments? Well, your results may vary, but I thought there were just enough sweet moments to make the film into an enjoyable night out at the theater.

I am a bit of a sucker for feel-good schmaltz, which means that my heart enjoyed the film as a whole, even while my head realized that it’s mediocre at best.

Ultimately, I suspect that audiences will enjoy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” in step with how they enjoyed the last film.

If you thought the second film was unnecessary and simply phoning it in, then you’ll probably feel the same way about movie number 3.

If, however, you enjoyed the film’s general silliness and the schmaltzy family bonding warmed your heart, then I suspect that you will have a similar experience this time around.

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at