Want a fun romantic comedy that will make you feel good for days? My Life in Ruins is just that. Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) stars as Georgia, an American professor of Classical culture who is down on her luck and waiting for a job at a university. While doing so, she is working as a tour guide at Pangloss Tours, a cut rate touring company that takes its customers to the various ruins and points of interest around Athens and other towns from ancient history.
Georgia is fed up with her job, and hates the fact that every group she takes out has the same stereotypical people, a tipsy Australian couple who can’t seem to keep enough Fosters beer around, a feuding couple with a sullen teenage kid, a elderly couple, a frat boy, some hick Americans, divorcees who have sworn off men, but are still looking, a corporate guy who can’t stay off his cellphone, and a guy who thinks he’s the life of the party. Georgia also has to deal with a rival tourguide who, from her POV, gets all the breaks, from the polite Canadian tourists, to the swanky hotels and the bus that never breaks down or has air conditioning problems. She’s had it, and has decided that this is her last tour. Is she ever in for a surprise, because not only are her guests not so stereotypical, the company has also hired a new driver, Poupi Kakas, (go ahead and giggle, you know you want to!) who despite his scruffy appearance, turns out to be a local diamond in the rough who makes all her preconceptions about her job change.
Maria, the touring company owner, has had it with Georgia’s attitude about how stupid she thinks the tourists are in not wanting to be educated about the places they go to. It seems that all they want to do is shop and eat ice cream during they day, and party and drink at night. Maria and Niko, Georgia’s tour guide rival, devise a plan to make Georgia quit, and Niko is sabotaging Georgia’s tour every step of the way. Richard Dreyfuss is the group’s funny guy, but he is very wise, and gives Georgia tips on how to make her tour more exciting, including the fact that Poupi seems to have developed a crush on her. After a trip to Delphi, where they the group takes the lesson on the Oracle seriously, they all learn more about each other, and they are all becoming more that just tourists, this group has become friends, and some new developements arise as couples hook up, and established couples find their romantic roots. Georgia even drops her academic itinerary to take the group to the beach because the sullen teen has requested it, and the kid perks up. There are fun hijinx along the way when the group learns of Niko’s plan to sabotage Georgia’s tour, and they get revenge on him.
Get some snacks, and cuddle in for a great night of romantic fun with My Life in Ruins, because even though it is a “Chick Flick”, it will make you feel good all over. The last movie set in Greece that did that for me was Disney’s animated “Hercules”, but that’s another story.