My Life in Ruins

by | Jun 3, 2009 | Culture

ruinsStarring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Rachel Dratch, Alexis Georgoulis | Rated PG-13

When the funny and heartwarming My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002, Nia Vardalos took the world by storm. It seemed everyone was impressed with the multifaceted skills of this lovable writer and actress. Sure, Greek Wedding contained some thematic elements I didn’t particularly like, but overall it was an enjoyable movie.

Naturally I was hoping My Life in Ruins, which Vardalos also wrote and stars in, would have the same wit and charm. Georgia (Vardalos) is an educated woman who moves to Greece to teach at a university. That doesn’t work out, so now she works as a bus tour guide.

She has been doing this for a year and simply hates having to deal with silly tourists who don’t understand or appreciate Greece’s history, beauty and significance. She feels stuck and lonely. And even though Greeks are known for their passion in life, Georgia’s is gone.

When an unlikely group of tourists arrives and draws Georgia out of her shell, however, she begins to see everything from a new perspective—she regains her kefi among the ruins of Greece.

The premise of My Life in Ruins is clever enough. And it certainly had the potential to be as good as, if not better than, Greek Wedding. But it’s not.

Sure, there are some humorous lines and characters, and it has a lot of heart and charm. But the crude comments, jokes and themes are just too much. What makes it worse is that none of this is necessary (as is always the case); the movie could have been funny enough on it own.

I know the PG-13 rating is a sliding scale these days and there are certainly other films that are much worse than this one. But because Greek Wedding was relatively tame and My Life in Ruins is by the same writer, I feel compelled to warn moviegoers that My Life in Ruins isn’t as clean as its predecessor (which, by the way, was rated PG; I’m not sure why Vardalos felt compelled to include more crudeness this time; she was obviously successful without crossing that line before).

To those who enjoyed Greek Wedding and still want to see My Life in Ruins, I understand. But take one more bit of advice: Save your money and wait to rent this on DVD.

This film is rated PG-13 because of the themes and crude language.

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