If you like movies involving extreme and rather insulting caricatures of old people, Canadians, slutty divorcees, and American tourists, among others, as well as lame pranks and poop jokes, and/or you’re a 12 year old boy, then “My Life in Ruins” is the movie for you.
Nia Vardalos, writer and star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” stars in this romantic comedy. Stuck in a rut, Georgia (Vardalos) works as a tour guide in Greece. The movie follows her adventure with a crazy group of tourists and a hot bus driver, who, of course, she falls for.
The movie starts off slow. So slow, in fact, that if not for the buttery bag of popcorn holding your attention, you may be tempted to slip out. Really bad jokes and ridiculous stereotypical tourists make the movie feel like a family film you’ve dreaded taking the kids to.
Written by: Mike Reiss
Starring: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch
Running time: 98 minutes
About half way in, however, things turn around — sort of. The movie starts to move along. Richard Dreyfuss takes the plot from silly and laughable to cheesy and cute. It’s definitely a step up.
While the first half of the film is perfect for the kiddies, the second half seems to turn, well, dirty. Oddly, there’s a lot of sex and dirty jokes. You may as well send the kids in at the beginning and take their seats halfway through.
Another suggestion: don’t go on opening day. If the theater is packed, there will be people who actually — amazingly — find the movie hilarious. Beware of the most annoying people who go to the movies; people who clap when they laugh. Not okay. You’ve been warned.
The best part of the movie is 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 (aren’t they always?). The romance is cute, too, so at least you can imagine yourself on a seaside cliff with a hot, hairy Greek. Of course you’re now $8.50 further from being able to afford that plane ticket.
Don’t see it in the theater. Wait until it’s free on demand, pour a glass of wine and try not to fall asleep in the first half hour. You’ll find yourself enjoying it somewhat as the plot thickens. If you do see it at the cinema, at least you’ll be in a feel-good mood when the credits start to roll, if you can ignore the fact that you gave up a comfy night on your couch to see the movie.
If not for the charm of Vardalos, the movie could have gone straight to DVD. She has the ability to make you smile in spite of yourself.
If you loved “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” don’t expect a repeat. This movie doesn’t touch it, but it’s somewhat entertaining nevertheless; it just feels like they forgot to edit out the crappy parts. Do yourself a favor and edit yourself right out of the theater.