Previous Review
Next Review
June 5, 2009
Review - " My Life in Ruins "  - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to
Nia Vardalos & Alexis Georgoulis - My Life in Ruins
Nia Vardalos & Richard Dreyfuss, - My Life in Ruins
Vardalos is Georgia, an Athens-based guide who conducts tours of the country for largely unpleasant tourists and battles
competition on the beat with Nico (Alistair McGowan), an obnoxiously overconfident Greek guide. You’ve met Georgia’s
latest gaggle of tourists before. There are the drinking Australians, the fussbudget Brits, the nice Canadians who melt into
the scenery, the hot, divorced Spanish ladies, and those loud, stupid or boring Americans. A lone Yank exception is Irv
(Richard Dreyfuss), a grieving widower who experiences visions of his late wife (Rita Wilson), but who, wise as his years,
dispenses good advice of which Georgia is benefactor.

Georgia is an awful tour guide, because they script calls for her to be, and the tourist themselves are the most disinterested
group of world travelers I have ever seen. She has a broken down life, a broken down job, on a broken down bus. Her
regular driver has quit so she gets a silent scruffy substitute driver named Poupi. "I can't call you that," she tells Poupi.
"What's your last name?" Kakas. That's right: Poupi Kakas. Poupi doesn't mind people making fun of him. "So what?" he
shrugs. "Laughter eez good."  The film starts off slow and boring, much like Georgia's tour. But as the tour (and tourguide)
become more fun so does the movie become more fun.

As her busload glides from
one magnificent ruin to
another (the Acropolis,
Parthenon, etc.), with
stopovers at dreary hotels,
Georgia slowly warms up to
handsome bus driver Poupi
(Alexis Georgoulis). As she
gets her mojo (“kefi” in
Greek) back—that
amorphous combination of
a zest for life and embrace
of the passionate side, even
her tourist crew grows more

Director Donald Petrie, with
many other middle-of-the-
road itineraries behind him
(Grumpy Old Men, How to
Lose a Guy in 10 Days), and
screenwriter Mike Reiss also
throw in some young love (a Brit teen gets hooked up with a handsome Greek youth), a gratuitous jab at gays, a little-old-
lady serial shoplifter, and the de rigueur comeuppance Georgia enjoys over rival Nico.
Nia Vardalos - My Life in Ruins
My Life in Ruins
Directed by Donald Petrie
Starring: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis,
Harlan Williams, Rachel Dratch, Alistair McGowen

"My Life in Ruins" boasts a fairly clever title, considering its
subject of a Greek-born American tour guide struggling in a
job from hell as her loveless, aimless life grows grimmer. Nia
Vardalos, whose breakthrough came with the indie hit stunner
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, again carries her lead role. This
film could easily have been titled "My Big Fat Greek Vacation"

The plus side in this broad-as-the-Mediterranean comedy are
the magnificent Greek scenery and determined upbeat tone,
also fueled (or hammered into cliché) by familiar references to
such cinematic Greco-relics as Zorba the Greek and Never on
Some of the best parts of the movie are
the beautiful scenery of Greece. You’ll
wish you were lying on a sandy beach,
slowly turning a golden brown color
instead of sitting in the overly air
conditioned theater. The romance is cute,
too, so you can imagine yourself on a
seaside cliff with a hot Greek god. If not
for the charm of Vardalos, the movie
could have gone wrong. She has the
ability to make you smile in spite of
yourself. Hidden deep down "My Life in
Ruins" has a heart. "Ruins" is sometimes
as sunny as its locations but as familiar
and predictable. If you liked "My Big Fat
Greek Wedding" You'll like "My Life in
Ruins". The movie is good but just misses
the mark. I'd give it 2 3/4 stars if I had
such a grade but since I
did enjoy it I'll be
generous and go for 3 stars.