My Life In Ruins
Nia Vardalos as Georgia and Alexis Georgoulis as
Poupi in Donald Petrie's romantic comedy "My Life In Ruins", which opened today
in the U.S. and Canada.
(Photo: Teresa Isasi/Fox Searchlight)
Ruinous In Greece, Via Vardalos
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com
Friday, June 5, 2009
Ten years or so after "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" Nia Vardalos ventures to Greece
as a uptight, pent-up tour guide to an eclectic group of tourists in "My Life In
Ruins", which opened today across the U.S. and Canada. As directed by
Donald Petrie and written by Mike Reiss (Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are executive
producers), "My Life" lacks spark. Miss Vardalos is a warm, beautiful and
sensual presence as Georgia but the situations her character are immersed in
often appear too cartoonish or staged to be smooth or believable. Granted,
Mr. Petrie's film is a fairly tranquil comedy overall but it feels pasted
together by paper maché instead of a solid foundation. The cameras of
cinematographer José Luis Alcaine take full advantage of glorious views of
Greece and its ancient ruins but even these splendid visages of the country
aren't enough to prevent this romantic comedy from disintegrating.
While the screenplay affords Georgia one or two convenient and funny lines, the
film is amazingly unfunny in total and Miss Vardalos, a good screenwriter and
decent actress in her own right, comes across here as flat and uninspired.
Sure, her character has passion, and the film opens up as Georgia loosens up,
but overall "My Life In Ruins" has less air in it than it deserves.
There's Poupi, the long-haired swarthy Lothario type (Alexis Georgoulis) who has
an eye for Georgia. There's the two women who look more like whores than
they do women in search of love (maybe they're both?) And in the only bit
of good casting there's Richard Dreyfuss as Irv, a widower on his first tour
since losing his wife. Mr. Dreyfuss infuses his character with humor and
heart, possessing qualities that must have endeared his late onscreen wife
(played by Rita Wilson, Mr. Hanks' wife). He is the lone bright spot,
dispensing wisdom and humor in an affecting fashion. Mr. Dreyfuss appears
too smart for the rest of the people in the film, and perhaps a film just
focusing on he and Miss Vardalos may have been a better vehicle.
With: María Adánez, Sheila Bernette, María Botto, Rachel Dratch, Caroline
Goodall, Ralph Nossek, Sophie Stucker, Bernice Stegers , Alistair McGowan and
"My Life In Ruins" is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association Of
America for sexual content. The film's duration is one hour and 36
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