MY LIFE IN RUINS (Donald Petrie)
Nia Vardalos is bright and breezy as Georgia, an aspiring teacher who is stuck in Greece giving tours to visitors. Along the way we get to see some of Greece's majesty, and Vardalos and the energetic supporting cast are fun to watch, even if the first half of the film is comprised of elements that does not bear logic.
For example, Georgia is surprised why they had to stay in a rundown hotel, when she earlier claimed that she already gave 43 tours. Forty-three tours and she's surprised! And that's not even the biggest point. She's the frigging tour guide for crying out loud! How could she not know?
The rest of the film unfolds as a backstabbing competition between Georgia and rival tour guide Nico (Alistair Mcgowan) in cartoonish fashion. The humor is mostly slapstick, but come second half the film rises above where we see the characters actually having fun. Richard Dreyfuss is notably charming.
The comedic layout of MY LIFE IN RUINS reeks of cliche. There's a quirky female lead, a charming love interest workmate, an array of dysfunctional characters, an archnemesis, a torturous boss, etc. etc. The director is the same one who did MISS CONGENIALITY. Take a hint.
And I don't know about you, but the script is quite culturally insensitive, with the labels and all. If I had been an Australian, or an American, or an elderly person for that matter I might have been pretty offended.
If you can get past this flaws, MY LIFE IN RUINS is a real charmer. A guilty pleasure stress reliever.