My Life in Ruins

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Nia Vardalos as Georgia
Richard Dreyfuss as Irv
Alexis Georgoulis as Poupi Kakas
Alistair McGowan as Nico
Harland Williams as Big Al
Rachel Dratch as Kim
Caroline Goodall as Dr. Tullen
Ian Ogilvy as Mr. Tullen
Sophie Stuckey as Caitlin
María Botto as Lala
María Adánez as Lena
Brian Palermo as Marc
Jareb Dauplaise as Gator
Simon Gleeson as Ken
Natalie O’Donnell as Sue

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Alternate ending
Everybody Loves Poupi – getting to know the Greek God Alexis Georgoulis
Audio commentary with actress Nia Vardalos, Director Donald Petrie and writer Mike Reiss

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish, French Language
Spanish, French Subtitles
Running Time: 95 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Immerse yourself in this sunny, uplifting romantic comedy starring Oscar nominee Nia Vardalos (‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’) and Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss. Vardalos delivers a charming performance as Georgia, a recently laid-off – though anything but laid-back – history professor-turned-travel guide to a motley crew of hilariously crass tourists. Georgia is fed up and ready to give up – until her new confidant Irv (Dreyfuss) opens her eyes and heart to a simple fact: There’s no finer way for a woman to find her kefi (a.k.a. mojo) than to lose herself in the arms of the “Greek god” (Alexis Georgoulis) who’s been hiding right under her nose!”

“My Life in Ruins ” is rated PG-13 for sexual content.

Mini-Review:
I wanted to like “My Life in Ruins” but simply could not get into it. The biggest problem is that the group of tourists that Georgia must host are incredibly annoying. They are your standard stereotypes – the stupid obnoxious American tourist, the loud comedian American tourist, the stupid American college student, the self-absorbed American businessman, the stuffy Brits, the drunk Australians, and the horny Spaniard divorcees. They are annoying from the beginning of the film to the end and there’s not a single scene where they redeem themselves. They are there to see historical ruins, yet they yawn and get bored when Georgia describes them. Why are they there and on a tour, then? They are there to see Greek culture, yet they do the usual stereotypical rude American routine. It certainly doesn’t make them endearing. And then, of course, they force their way into Georgia’s love life like some horrific band of Cupids. The end result is that 13 out of 15 main characters are unbearable.

“My Life in Ruins” also suffers from the fact that the trailer showed the entire movie. All the key moments of the film are shown in the ads, so there are no surprises at all. That’s not saying much, though, because the story is quite predictable. Stuffy woman gets frustrated at being stuck in a dead end, stuffy woman blows up at friends, stuffy woman repents, stuffy woman gets un-stuffy, woman embraces carefree culture, woman finds love, everyone lives happily ever after. The End. You could probably list dozens of movies that follow that exact same formula.

“My Life in Ruins” does have a few positive points. The Greek scenery is absolutely stunning. The ruins and island settings are very beautiful. You’ll probably want to plan a Greek vacation after seeing this. Nia Vardalos is also good as Georgia. She makes a great ‘everywoman’ and could use a better script.

I’d only recommend this movie to super-fans of Nia Vardalos and anyone that’s in the mood for an utterly mindless chick flick. It might also help if you’ve never seen the trailers and go into this movie cold.

On the bonus features, there are three separate commentaries – one by Vardalos, one by the director, and one by the writer. It seems like overkill. There are eight deleted scenes, including an alternate ending. In this alternate ending, Vardalos starts talking to the camera (after not having done it anywhere else in the movie) and we see Irv die in his hospital room and his ghost dancing with the spirit of his wife. Kind of a depressing ending. Among the deleted scenes, we meet Gator’s girlfriend who is otherwise mentioned but never seen in the theatrical version. We also see the Spanish women fighting over the IHOP bachelor. Rounding out the bonus features is the featurette “Everybody Loves Poupi” which is a gag reel showing the various scenes in the film recut to look like everyone is fawning over Poupi – both men and women.

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