There's another round of delicious-looking food, affectionate ethnic humor and family dysfunction in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3."
Toula (writer Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are still married, even though the title makes it sound like she dumped him and has accumulated two more husbands since the first movie in 2002 (we're supposed to ignore the short-lived 2003 TV series "My Big Fat Greek Life," in which Vardalos' renamed character literally did have a different husband).
In "3," the Portokaloses visit Greece for a family reunion and to give Toula's late father's journal to his childhood friends from the old country. For the first 45 minutes of "3," they encounter problems — the island they're visiting has fallen on hard times, their college-age daughter has a secret, there's discord about what to do with Dad's ashes — and, in the remaining 45 minutes, they solve all of them.
It's a genial, somewhat bland comedy that plays more like a collection of choppy bits than a movie with a beginning, middle and end. The extremely short scenes often don't connect to one another but amount to a bunch of running gags, a few of which are amusing. Meanwhile, "3" raises weighty issues — the memory disease of Toula's mom, some odd family dynamics — that it has no intention of grappling with.
Oddly, Vardalos doesn't give the star — that is, herself — much to do. In her stead, there are two MVPs: One is the island of Corfu, which seems guaranteed to experience a tourist uptick as a result of the many picturesque villages and sunny beaches (one of them nude) depicted.
The other is Andrea Martin, returning as Toula's Aunt Voula, who introduces herself to strangers by saying, "I will be your favorite," and who is right. It's a broad performance but the versatile Martin invests bulldozerish Voula with a heart as big as her opinion of herself. And she is given most of the best Greek self-owns, such as this one about their problem-solving: "We yell and scream. We find a solution together, using threats and grief."
Stereotypical? Sure, but it's hard to imagine anyone being offended.
A big part of the "Big Fat Greek" movies' continuing appeal is the relatability of that last quotation. Plenty of people who aren't Greek — with the possible exception of reserved Scandihoovian types — can relate to that rowdy sentiment, and to the idea that elaborate meals go a long way toward smoothing over family disagreements.
Baklava heals all wounds in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3" — and washing it down with multiple glugs of retsina wine doesn't hurt, either.
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3'
** out of 4 stars
Rated: PG-13 for language and nonsexual nudity.
Where: In theaters Friday.