My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (2023)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Nia Vardalos
Run Time
1 hour and 31 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

How very good and pleasant it is
    when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
    life forevermore.

Psalm 133
Expect lots of hugs when the Portokalos family is around! (c) Focus Features

Those crazy Greeks are back, even though the one who claimed they invented everything is missing. Due to his untimely death, Michael Constantine, who played the father Gus Portokalos in the first two films of the franchise, no longer proudly proclaims that a Greek actually invented some modern device. Although his warm, exaggerating presence is missed, he is, as we shall see, very much a part of the plot of this new film, which the multi-talented Nia Vardalos wrote, directed, and stars in.

The film begins with an invitation from the mayor of Gus’s hometown, Victoria (Melina Kotselou), inviting them to the village for a reunion of all of the families who had left. Before his death, Toula’s father Gus had asked her to go to the reunion. He had kept a full account of his life in a journal which he had wanted her to give to some childhood friends, so the Portokalos family decides to pack up and go.—all that is except Toula’s mother Maria ( Lainie Kazan), who is suffering the beginning stages of dementia. Toula’s daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris), now halfway through college, and brother Nick (Louis Mandylor), of course are in the party—and it goes without saying that there will be a young man along for Paris. Nick has a secret that will be revealed in the film’s third act, one designed to pay tribute to the father they both loved so dearly.

The non-Greek Ian Miller (John Corbett), whose integration into the fiercely Greek family was the subject of the first family, has moved on from teaching to school principal to retirement. He and wife Toula have settled into what promises to be life-long affair, their chief concern being daughter Paris—who is tense because she has not told her parents how badly she has done in college. Some unexpected things happen, one of which is the dispersement of most of the villagers so that a search will have to be made for Gus’s childhood friends. Toula’s brother Nick, besides the already mention secret—an item he has sneaked into his luggage without informing his sister—wants to find the ancient olive tree that his father had told him he used to love to sit under. There are new characters in addition to the energetic Victory, such as the refugee from the Syrian War, Qamar (Stephanie Nur). She has fallen in love with a local Greek boy, so you can be sure there is another wedding in the film, one that blends into a colorful reunion party with a mixture of joyful Greek and Syrian dancing. And of course, lots of shots of eating the colorful foods so lovingly photographed.

Nia Vardalos worked closely with cinemaphotographer Barry Peterson to capture the picture postcard locales of Athens and the isolated village on a mountainside in Corfu. The film makes Greece looks so colorful and inviting that the nation’s Tourist Bureau ought to be underwriting screenings of it instead of the studio.

Best of all, the film celebrates family togetherness and support. Fans of the two earlier films have come to love this specifically Greek family because they see that beneath all the hugging, gossiping, bickering due to occasional disputes and misunderstandings there is a rock bottom love binding them all together. For those looking for some feel good entertainment that celebrates family values, Nia Vardalos has the right mix. n the original script According to the press notes, Michael Constantine’s Gus was in the original script, and then it became evident that he was too ill to participate. Ms. Vardalos also lost her own father during the same period that Michael died, so she rewrote the film, making it a tribute both to her real and to her film father. Its theme of family, one that people of faith can firmly endorse, is beautifully encased in the film’s rousing song that concludes the film, Oli Mazi, which means “We Are All Together.’ Enhanced by shots of Greece’s scenery and of the movie characters eating, singing, and dancing together, the lyrics state that all together “We are free to be whoever we wanna be,” because all have each other’s backs.” Of course, we know that not all families rise to that level, but for a couple of hours his film lets viewers be a part of such a family. It may be escapist fare, but a little respite from cruel reality just might be what one requires at times.

 This review is in the Sept. issue of  VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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