Wow, another movie that was totally trashed by reviewers is yet another one I really enjoyed watching. I think My Life in Ruins is a smash. It uses stereotypes to make everything appear awful at first and then slowly unravels the truth beneath the façade. You have obnoxious American tourists, an old lady that steals everything that isn’t nailed down, a gentleman who thinks he’s the life of the party, Australians you can’t understand even though they speak English, a married couple at each other’s throats, a moody teenager, divorced woman on a man hunt, etc.
Georgia, played by Nia Vardalos, must take this ragtag group of tourists through Greece. She knows everything there is to know about the ruins and monuments, but she’s disillusioned. Nobody cares about history or the treasures right before their eyes. Georgia has lost her kaffee.
Richard Dreyfuss plays Irv, the tourist who thinks he’s hilarious. Irv is rude, makes terrible jokes, and wears down Georgia’s every last nerve until she snaps. To her horror she finds out this is the worse trip for him ever not because she’s a terrible tour guide, but because his wife is dead and this is his first time abroad without her.
Poupi, a terrible name if there ever was one and one of the few things that was just this side of ridiculous in the movie, is the bus driver. Alexis Georgoulis is quite handsome under his beard and long hair. Poupi crushes on Georgia and helps her rediscover her love of Greece and love of life during this trip.
The romance is cute, the bad guy gets his dues, and you get to enjoy the fabulous scenery of Greece. Having been, I’m so glad they showed the Parthenon in Athens at night. It truly is an amazing sight to see. It looked magical in person and on screen.
My one major irk, and my mother’s too, who saw this with me, was Nia’s shoes. How on earth could that woman traipse around Greece’s ruins in high heels, tall platform shoes, etc.? It just isn’t possible. Delphi for instance, was repaved by the Romans in old marble monuments. The road is slippery and sweats in the summer months and it tricky to navigate in tennis shoes! The Parthenon has gravel and chunks of rocks everywhere, no way! She would twist an ankle and fall.
Rating: 3.5 Stars