This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
- Kim Kardashian debuts her acting talent.
- We attend another Big Fat Greek Wedding.
- The funniest Real Housewives moment of the week.
- Jimmy Buffett, icon forever.
- A new home for the holidays.
My Big Fat Greek Great Time
If you’re like me, every single person you follow on social media, via baffling means of funding, went to Greece this year. Well, now you can include Joey Fatone from NSYNC on that list.
I was really excited to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 because, as my unhinged devotion to And Just Like That illustrates, I will seize any chance to catch up with characters I love, no matter how ridiculous the project. But mostly I was excited because I think 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of our top-tier modern rom-coms, and the special place it holds in my heart means that I will follow Nia Vardalos and the Portokalos family wherever they may go—which in this sequel, finally, is Greece.
The plot of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 centers around Toula (Vardalos), Nick (Louis Mandylor), and Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) leading a contingent of the family to the patriarch’s (Michael Constantine’s Gus) remote Greek island village to reconnect with his roots after his death. Mostly, though, the plot is: “Let’s get the gang back together again.” And that, my fellow Windex-spraying friends who know that the root of every word is Greek, is enough reason to go along for the journey. (Along with John Corbett continuing his “hey, I’m just as hot as I was 20 years ago” tour. Hello, sir.)
Heading into this screening, I thought a lot about what it is that makes me feel so attached to this unlikely rom-com trilogy. (I’m not Greek, not in a romance, nor particularly comedic.)
There was the Cinderella success of Vardalos and how she turned that film into an Oscar-nominated blockbuster, of course—one of my favorite Hollywood stories. But I think there was something so special about how the film took something so universal—falling in love with someone different from your family—but had that love story encompass the entire family. It’s that thing a lot of people can relate to you, where your family is a lot, but they’re also a part of you. You can’t imagine a life without all of your overbearing weirdos circling around, no matter how much you wish them away, and you need your love to love them too—and them to love him. It’s a beautiful story, and Vardalos told it with such wit and heart.
In these sequels, especially in this third film, we see what that means as a family, marriages, and all that love between them ages—and ages together. It’s also a meditation on patriarchs, matriarchs, and what happens when we’re left without them. Given those themes, I obviously cried. Given the fact that the three best films I know all take place, at least in part, in Greece—Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—this international shoot was a phenomenal move.
Sure, the film recycles the franchise’s familiar jokes about vegetarianism, everyone being cousins, and pulling your neck tight for photos. But each one made me feel warmer than the one before, like eating through the layers of an amazing spanakopita. Was the movie good? Who cares! It was my extended family, the Portokalos, healing and growing, just like we all need to do. May there be three more of these movies.
Salt Lake City Is Finally Funny Again
No television personality exudes energy as fascinatingly unsettling as Mary M. Cosby. Cosby returned to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City in Sunday night’s Season 3 premiere, after she quit the show following the first season. Beyond being a kook whose lack of filter grants full access to the off-kilter workings of her brain—and being notorious for marrying her step-grandfather following her grandmother’s death—there are dark and disturbing reports about the church she runs that make laughing along with her a queasy experience. (You can read about some of that here.)
As is the case with the likes of Beverly Hills housewife Erika Jayne and Cosby’s former Salt Lake City castmate Jen Shah, who both made headlines for respective controversies, it can feel uneasy to delight in Cosby’s goofiness as entertainment, given those reports. On the one hand, you feel complicit in something problematic. On the other hand…she’s really freaking funny.
But I’m grateful that the best comedic moment from the RHOSLC premiere, while involving Cosby, actually centered on Lisa Barlow. Asked about her last correspondence with Cosby, Barlow reads off a slew of text messages in which Cosby hurls ludicrous insults at her:
“You’re the biggest idiot. You’re a black widow.. You’re the biggest liar in Utah.. You’ll kill people with your nasty tequila. You remind me of a witch. You evil person.. You’re not interesting 8. You’re a horrible human being.”
Barlow’s delivery is hilarious, and that series of insults? I’m getting them printed and making copies, to hand out to all future dates and boyfriends who betray me.
Jimmy Buffett’s Perfect Cameo
Jimmy Buffett should be admired for so many reasons. I’ve always appreciated that something he preached that seemed simple was actually quite profound: You can, should, and deserve to make paradise wherever you are, however you can. (The number of hangovers suffered because of that philosophy, on the other hand…)
If there is one great thing that happens in the wake of a celebrity’s death, it’s that so many great moments from their lives and careers resurface, some of which you may never have seen. For example, I had no idea that Buffett had a cameo in Jurassic World. A clip of it went viral following the singer’s death over the weekend: The dinosaurs are wreaking deadly havoc on the patrons of the park, and they’re all fleeing in panic. Buffett, in a blink-and-miss-it appearance, can be seen stalling his own escape to pick up his giant margarita and take another swig before running. It’s perfect.
I Got You, Babe
I guess this is how I break it to my family that I have other plans this holiday season.
Thanks for the invite, Cher! See you soon XOXO
More From The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
Studio Ghibli co-founder and director extraordinaire Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Boy and the Heron, opened this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. To commemorate the milestone, our staff looked back on moments from Ghibli movies that meant the most to us. Read more.
Want to know what the 40 most hotly anticipated movies of the fall are? We’ve got ’em here. Read more.
And how about the 45 biggest and best TV shows? Got those too. Read more.
What to watch this week:
Sitting in Bars With Cake: Surprisingly, this is not a documentary about how I spent my summer. (Now on Prime Video)
The Morning Show: Quite simply the only TV series that could fill the And Just Like That-sized hole in my life. (Wed. on Apple TV+)
Dreaming Whilst Black: One of the year’s biggest comedy surprises. (Sun. on Showtime)
What to skip this week:
The Changeling: We still love you, LaKeith Stanfield. Just not in this. (Now on Apple TV+)