After reading my surname in the by-line of this article, I doubt it will be much surprise to anyone that my family is of Greek origins – Greek Cypriot in fact. Growing up in the UK with a very loud, very loving and very hungry family, when my parents first deemed me old enough to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I was absolutely enthralled by Nia Vardalos’s fictional world which was just like mine! It’s the highest grossing romantic comedy and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Vardalos’s authentically unique narrative. People often ask me whether it’s exaggerated for dramatic effect or apologise that it’s their only source of understanding of Greek culture, but I’d say it’s a pretty accurate one. The weekly trip to Greek school, the relatives trying to marry you off, the moose-caca for lunch… it was perfect.
Obviously, a wedding isn’t quite yet on the cards for me, so there are naturally elements of the film I can’t yet resonate with, but then, just a couple of years before my venture up to Stoke-on-Trent, my queen Nia wrote a second film (a Grequel if you will – her joke not mine) about her character Toula’s now grown-up daughter, Paris, heading off to college a lot further away than her family might have hoped! While the first film will always hold an incredible place in my heart, the second one resonated with me so much – and not just because of the play on catch phrases from the original film. No, this one was my life! The teenage girl navigating through life with the backdrop of the Parthenon following her every step of the way. Not to mention the gorgeous montage towards the end to John Legend’s All of Me, where somehow, in those 2 minutes, Vardalos’s writing creates a beautiful melange between traditional Greek wedding customs, a high school prom and a modern love ballad.
So, with the backstory of my gushing love for the franchise, you can imagine the way my heart sprang in my chest this morning to see Vardalos’s post on Instagram announcing that she has written a THIRD FILM! It was a bittersweet announcement though; she confirmed rumours that the last year had been spent “trying” to film the third film, but due to being an “independent film” they have been struggling to get insurance in the climate of COVID-19, meaning filming has been on hold. She did, however, confirm that “the entire cast is invited back”, so, personally, I’m willing to wait. In her announcement video, Vardalos drew attention to the struggle multiple people and industries are suffering from at the moment due to the pandemic and made clear that while she’d like to go back to work, it is a “small thing” in the current situation.
Right at the end of the video she stated, “when we get film insurance, we are going to Greece to film”. Could Paris be getting married? Perhaps Toula’s cousin Angelo? Or maybe Theios Panos in Greece has a child whose wedding they’re all flying over for – just imagine a scene with the whole family on a plane from Chigaco to Greece. Whatever happens in the story, whenever it’s filmed, I for one, cannot wait to catch up with the Portokalos/Miller family!