Sunday, January 26, 2014
My Life in Ruins (2009) [PG-13] **
Georgia (Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is a Greek-American tour guide who never gets a break. Her boss accepts bribes from Georgia's co-worker Nico (Alistair McGowan); he gets the better tour buses and the better hotels. Nico also entertains his tourists with shopping trips and treats, while Georgia bores her tourists trying to educate them in Greek history and architecture.
So Georgia turns in her resignation. She's leading her last tour, a motley collection of English, Australian and American tourists, through some of Greece's oldest and most historic sites, dealing with personality and culture clashes, during which everything seems to go wrong. Then one of her tourists, Irv (Richard Dreyfuss) suggests that Georgia should try to be entertaining, by getting in touch with her wild thing. He suggests that she should be looking for the magic, rather than the obstacles, and encourages her to take another look at her hunky, mysterious Greek bus driver Poupi (Alexis Georgoulis), whom she'd at first dismissed as just hairy and creepy, and the last person with whom she'd ever expect to find romance. Georgia learns that it's not the journey you take, but the person you take it with.
Written by Mike Reiss (The Simpsons-TV, The Simpsons Movie), and directed by Donald Petrie (Welcome to Mooseport), the story is trite and derivative, full of clichés, unflattering stereotypes, boring dialogue and slapstick comedy. The only redeeming quality is the beautiful and evocative scenery of Greek landscapes and ancient architectural ruins. Unfortunately, it's not enough to compensate for the disappointing story; your time would be far better spent watching a sixty minute historical documentary on Greece.
Label: comedy, history
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=36, viewers=52)