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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Encourages strong family bonds, connecting with your family's cultural background, honest communication with friends and family, and acceptance/inclusion of immigrants and refugees.
Positive Role Models
Toula and Ian are loving, encouraging, supportive parents to Paris. The aunties are nosy but caring and well-meaning. Paris learns from her mistakes and by communicating honestly with her parents and her suitor.
Centers around a Greek American family and their Greek village and extended relatives. Characters all have a strong sense of their cultural background, are loud and proud to be Greek. Though the film uses Greek stereotypes for humor -- like the "auntie" who feels up people to proclaim them too thin, or the brother who's so hairy he has to shave (everywhere) in practically every scene -- they're affectionately drawn and are based on the lived experience of writer-director and star Nia Vardalos. Brief representation of Syrian and Ukrainian refugees in Greece, how they're treated with compassion but not necessarily acceptance when it comes to intermarriage. Several characters are played by Greek actors, including Vardalos (Toula), Louis Mandylor (Nikos), Elena Kampouris (Paris), Gia Carides (Cousin Nikki), and Elias Kacavas (Aristotle). A supporting character is nonbinary. The film has strong female characters and showcases loving relationships between generations of mothers, daughters, aunts, cousins, etc.
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Violence & Scariness
Some physical comedy, like when a character hits her head while trying to stand up on a plane or get on a donkey or smooshes her head against a window.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character realizes that she's at a nude beach when she sees that everyone is naked (no actual nudity beyond bare backs and legs and men's bare chests, because everyone has strategically placed props in front of their genitals). A married couple kiss, embrace, and joke about sneaking away to make out. An auntie refers to them going at it like badgers when they were younger and to her own libidinous past. Two characters flirt, dance, and kiss once. An engaged couple kisses and is extra affectionate. A woman talks about a handsome man she keeps seeing (he turns out to be a relative). A woman touches two characters to explain how they have no breasts, butt, or anything "to hold on to" in a matter-of-fact way. A character jokes that a couple should wait for Easter to have sex. A man drops his robe during a FaceTime convo, making it clear that his sister and brother-in-law can see him naked before ending the call.
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"I suck." Two men scream when taking cold showers what sounds like "damn!" or "God!"
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Products & Purchases
iPhone, iPad, Windex.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The Greek American tourists drink so many free shots of ouzo that they get drunk and have hangovers. Adults drink at dinners and parties. Two college students who could be of age in Greece drink at a nightclub and are shown sleepy and hung over the next day.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is the third installment in writer-director-actor Nia Vardalos' comedy franchise about a Greek American woman and her boisterous family. This time around, Toula Portokalos (Vardalos); her non-Greek husband, Ian (John Corbett); and their daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), join a contingent of the Portokalos family heading to Greece for a reunion. Expect a fair bit of innuendo and kissing, including an often undressed uncle -- while there's no graphic nudity, there's lots of skin, especially during a scene at a nude beach. There are also many jokes about Greek culture, cuisine, and behavior. Language doesn't get stronger than "sucks" and "damn," but there are several scenes of adults drinking and getting drunk (played for humor), always with morning-after consequences. One Greek woman crosses boundaries and gets handsy with adult strangers, fondling them and saying that they're too thin and have nothing for their significant others to "hold on to." Though the film uses Greek stereotypes for humor, they're affectionately drawn and are based on Vardalos' lived experience (she and several members of the cast are of Greek descent). The movie encourages strong family bonds and honest communication. It also explores how to welcome immigrants/refugees -- as well as the trickier issue of some people's resistance to marrying outside a family's cultural community. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some sweet moments, this well-intentioned threequel can't recapture the novelty and humor of the 2002 original. This third (and presumably final) chapter in Toula's story doesn't offer anything new other than the reminder that middle-aged couples shouldn't let their sandwich-generation challenges keep them from taking adventures or reconnecting with either their roots or the next generation. But that laudable (if trite) message is buried under lots of obvious punchlines. Vardalos' script recycles lots of the first movie's same cultural jokes, which fall flat two decades later. In addition to the obligatory Windex references, there are constant scenes of Nikos primping, shaving (his ears, his nose, his chin, his nether regions), and preening half-naked, as well as the tired insistence that every word or historical fact is based in the Greek language or history.
The story also includes some heavy themes that aren't handled with enough care (or humor). Mrs. Portokalos (Lainie Kazan) is housebound due to mild dementia, and a subplot involving a big secret is received ludicrously well, with no emotional nuance. On the bright side, the cinematography by Barry Peterson includes lovely shots of the Greek Isles' landscapes, markets, and squares. Vardalos' second directorial feature after the 2009 romcom I Hate Valentine's Day (also starring Corbett), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is a broad family comedy that aims for crowd-pleasing but misses the mark.
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