VIDEO: The trailer for My Life in Ruins
It's hard to imagine Donald Petrie's film appealing to anyone but diehard fans of the single-woman-gets-her-groove-back-in-exotic-locale genre. For "groove," substitute "kefi" — which appears to be the Greek equivalent.
Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) stars as an American-expat history professor in Greece — except that she's been downsized to leading bus tours of ancient landmarks for tourists who'd rather shop and sunbathe. Frustrated and on the verge of quitting, Georgia takes the advice of twinkly widower Irv (Richard Dreyfuss) to energize her lectures with the dishier elements of Greek mythology and to open herself to the laid-back charm of the hunky, if scruffy, Greek bus driver named "Poupi" Kakas (Alexis Georgoulis).
Vardalos is fine, but Petrie and writer Mike Reiss (The Simpsons) yoke her to an ossified formula in which various national stereotypes (and the character actors who play them) embarrass themselves in bazaars and at Greek temples.