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My Life in Ruins

A 2009 movie directed by Donald Petrie/

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Just Not Very Funny or Very Good

  • Jan 27, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-1
My Life In Ruins is the follow up movie with Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Where Wedding had incredible charm, and humor; Ruins is just a bus wreck on the highways of Greece with little charm and a little bit of humor. The second act was a bit better than the first, but this is still a not good movie.

Nia Vardalos plays Georgia the true Greek tour guide that wants to teach all of her tourists about the wonders and history of Greece. Her competitor for the 'great fun' tourists is Nico, the stereotype of hairy fun loving guides. Oh the hilarious competition between the two, Nico gets the Canadians; and Georgia gets all the leftovers, every cliché of tourist from around the world with heavy emphasis on the ugly American. Nico gets the bus with air conditioning, Georgia gets Poupi (pronounced poopie, as in excrement) the long haired brutish bus driver with a broken air conditioner. Georgia turns into a minx near the end of the film and Poupi turns into an Adonis. And everyone lives happily ever after.

The problem with Ruins, the story has been told many times. The characters are all clichés and act exactly as expected. Nia is a bit too beautiful in the beginning and stays about the same throughout. In Wedding, that character grows into a beautiful person and flower, we see her beauty through John Corbett's eyes. In Ruins there is no transformation, she simply goes off with Poupi, and lets her hair down allowing the group to spend the day at the beach. There was very little motivation for this change.

Richard Dreyfuss pulls this stinker out of the dumper. Even he can't salvage the film completely.

Is this some kind of light weight summer fun film? I don't think it is that much fun. There are a few decent jokes, Nico calls the Canadians, Americans and they attack him. There's some decent views of Greece, but honestly, Rick Steves or Samantha Brown or Rudy Maxa do a much better job showing Greece in under a half an hour. At least with the travel shows, I don't have to listen to horrible jokes about blue pills. The film just tries to be sweet and ends up being a mouth full of too much granular sugar.

The film is about an hour too long at an hour and a half. It is rated PG-13 mostly for off color humor. If the family loves bad jokes, clichés, and trying to see some of Greece, then it is a family movie. Technically the filming is basic simple camera work that doesn't add to the story. The sound was awful, with really bad sound effects and royalty free music. The bus crashes off the road at one point, and the sound effect was one of those canned boings common in cartoons.

Nia had so much potential in Big Fat Greek Wedding. That film was special, worth watching many times. This is a very forgettable film. Coupled with her failed television series spun off of Wedding, I'm afraid she is a one hit wonder.

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More My Life in Ruins reviews
Quick Tip by . June 08, 2010
I'm biased because i'm Greek and I love Greece, but I liked this movie. It wasn't GREAT, it was just cute.
review by . October 12, 2009
I was pondering this question over the weekend, having been subjected to a variety of unwatchable material over the last decade. The competition in the 'worst ever' category is pretty stiff though, including abominations such as Batman & Robin, Gigli, Catwoman and The Postman (apparently sometimes called Fishtar). When you add The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or The Mummy 4, there's some real strength in this category, making it hard to dislodge the imcumbents.       …
review by . October 10, 2009
DVD
Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is an American living in Greece and working as a tour guide. She hates her job, thinks all tourists are idiots, and is sick of Greece, too. But on her next four-day trip everything will change for the better, thanks to the quirky members of her tour and her moody bus driver.       This movie had so much potential but is really terrible. It's neither funny nor romantic and the dopey cast is always blocking our view of beautiful Greece. The plot is a lackluster …
review by . October 21, 2009
   Not quite Greek Wedding, this flick has its moments of charm and is at times amusing. However, it feels more like a Lifetime movie than a Hollywood blockbuster. The humor gets annoyingly sexual and predictable. For example, the bad guy in the film gives a t-shirt to someone on the "opposing side." The guy puts it on, not knowing what the Greek characters say, and becomes an instant magnet for certain locals. Turns out it was implying he was searching for a boyfriend. The romantic …
review by . October 21, 2009
Not quite Greek Wedding, this flick has its moments of charm and is at times amusing. However, it feels more like a Lifetime movie than a Hollywood blockbuster. The humor gets annoyingly sexual and predictable. For example, the bad guy in the film gives a t-shirt to someone on the "opposing side." The guy puts it on, not knowing what the Greek characters say, and becomes an instant magnet for certain locals. Turns out it was implying he was searching for a boyfriend. The romantic thread is predictable …
review by . October 12, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
So is My Life in Ruins as funny as the surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Maybe not quite there, but I think it's pretty close. The jokes are funny, but the film is moving as well. Richard Dreyfuss brings a lot to the film, combining comedy with wisdom. As the characters begin to enjoy themselves on the trip to Greece, the viewer will too.    Only problem: I wish the DVD had deleted scenes. I'd love to see what was spliced out.
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Dan lebryk ()
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Wiki

The combination of the appealing Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and the breathtaking location shooting in Greece makeMy Life in Ruinsthe perfect film escape. The film works as a feather-light romantic comedy, with Vardalos's character, Georgia, facing burnout in her job with a cut-rate tour company in Greece. Georgia knows there's magic in the Greek countryside and history, yet the grind of her job has drained her. Happily for Georgia, her latest group of semi-challenging tourists will help her shed some of her hard-built personal armor, guiding her to cut loose as the tour progresses (a journey mirrored in Vardalos's hairstyle, which starts out prim, and ends up attractively tousled). The strong supporting cast includes Richard Dreyfus--seeming very comfortable playing an old coot--Rachel Dratch, Rita Wilson, and the dreamy Greek actor Alexis Georgoulis, a bus driver with the soul of a poet. And possibly a secret crush on the oblivious Georgia. But the true star of the film is Greece itself, from the coastline to the mountains, from the Acropolis to the Parthenon. That so few American films are shot on location makes this summer treat even more appealing--as sweet as fresh baklava. --A.T. Hurley

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Details

Director: Donald Petrie
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: June 05, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
Runtime: 95 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
First to Review
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