My Life in Ruins
Thu, Jun 4, 2009 (midnight)
Classical history professor-turned-low-budget tour guide Georgia (Vardalos) attempts to enlighten her tourees with Greek history rather than entertain them with shopping and ice cream, earning her Pangloss Tours’ lowest tour-guide rating and the least desirable tour groups. Suddenly saddled with a woolly mammoth look-alike for a bus driver, Georgia reaches the breaking point of her uptight demeanor. It is only when wise old widower Irv (Dreyfuss) convinces her to relax that Georgia begins to enjoy her job and find her Greek passion for life. Of course, this passion for life comes in the form of a predictable love story that’s unconvincing and feels like a postscript, an impression that is only heightened by Georgia’s unpleasantness throughout the first half of the film.
It’s difficult to sympathize with straitlaced protagonist Georgia, because the supporting cast generates most of the laughs. Dreyfuss is especially endearing as a man near the end of his life trying to teach Georgia how to start her own. Unfortunately, Vardalos’ Georgia fails to replicate Dreyfuss’ charm. Every time she speaks, everyone around her likes her a little less. Although initially I was having about as much fun as Georgia’s tour group—that is, none—when Georgia starts to have a good time, the good time can start for everyone else, too. However, that late commencement of comedy is My Life in Ruins’ ruination.