My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 has arrived on Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. For those keeping track, writer-star Nia Vardalos (who also directs this third edition) has seen greatly diminishing returns for her series. For Vardalos, the Greek Wedding franchise has proved an inexhaustible well. Don’t forget, there was even a short-lived network television series (also starring Vardalos) that aired on CBS in 2003. It all started in 2002, when the original My Big Fat Greek Wedding charmed moviegoers to the tune of $241 million in North America ($368 million internationally). It also earned Vardalos an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay (the award went to Talk to Her, by Pedro Almodovar).
The first sequel didn’t hit theaters until 2016, but still proved to be somewhat popular. But the box office returns for the newest edition have demonstrated that the limit may have been reached. More importantly, the quality has declined. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 strains to incorporate the series’ foundational wedding element. In the first, it was Toula (Vardalos) getting married to Ian (John Corbett). In the second, it was discovered that Toula’s mother, Maria (Lainie Kazan), and father, Gus (Michael Constantine), were never technically married, due to a clerical error. So, they proceed with plans to make their union legally official, many years after the fact.
In part three, Toula and her family find out that the now-deceased Gus had an illegitimate son with an old flame, Alexandra (Anthi Andreopoulou). Alexandra kept their son, Peter (Alexis Georgoulis), a secret from Gus. It turns out Peter’s son Christos (Giannis Vasilottos) is set to marry his partner, Qamar (Stephanie Nur). That’s this movie’s Greek wedding. If it sounds convoluted, that’s because it is. And the new characters (aside from a quirky turn by Melina Kotselou as the mayor of Gus’ hometown) don’t really make a lasting impression. It’s almost as if Vardalos forgot to write any funny moments amid the complexities of the plot, new characters, and their various entanglements. The audience that enjoyed the first two films (and it should be emphasized, the first sequel was funny and emotionally involving) might be left wondering why Vardalos felt this story needed to be told.
Also of note, some of the plot elements may give fans of the Book Club films a sense of déjà vu. Earlier in 2023, Book Club: The Next Chapter was released to theaters. The film was something of a travelogue, with the four elderly friends traveling to Rome to dispose of the ashes of Diane’s (Diane Keaton) husband. The reason for the reference—My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is something of a travelogue, with Toula’s family traveling to Greece to dispose of the ashes of Toula’s father, Gus. In the case of both films, the scenario isn’t especially imaginative. The scenery at the various European settings is treated as something of a main attraction.
While the weakest in the trilogy by some measure, Universal’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray packs a few extras for fans. Nia Vardalos is featured in a writer-director’s commentary track that, from what I sampled, seems to offer a few neat nuggets about the production. There’s also a gag reel, two minutes of brief deleted and/or extended scenes, and a pair of short behind-the-scenes featurettes.