Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MY LIFE IN RUINS--PG-13 (now playing at home where a cheap vacation--minus the dysentery-- is a close as your TV screen)

You know I'm partial to a good romantic comedy. But what I like even better is the VACATION romantic comedy! Life and emotions are heightened and intensified when you've stolen away to an exotic locale, and you can become fast friends--or lovers--with someone you've known for only a few days...or hours. (STAND BACK EVERYBODY--THE DUDE SPEAKS FROM EXPERIENCE!)

And so it is with My Life In Ruins--the tale of Georgia, (Nia Vardolos --My Big Fat Greek Wedding) a Greek-American tour guide who gets only "average" marks on her evaluations from clients because she has not yet learned to use her imagination.

But she will.

Georgia gets the "B" tour groups--peppered with quirky folks and malcontents--along with a bushy bear of a bus driver named Poupi Kakas (there's a running gag about his name throughout the film). The tourists are all stock characters: There's the JOKER, Irv, (Richard Dreyfuss); the SLICK LADIES MAN (from the International House of Pancakes); the two HOT YOUNG CHICKS ON THE PROWL, and so on. At first, the stereotypes were off-putting--but as things go along, these folks begin to grow on you.

Romance blooms when Georgia discovers a flower waiting for her whenever she boards the tour bus, but can't immediately determine who's behind it, and begins to look askance at some of the guys in the group. Against the gorgeous backdrop of Athens and environs, we'll discover whether Georgia can lighten up, win over her charges, and make people like her for a change; whether she'll wake up and smell the romance that's brewing right beneath her nose;  and whether widower Irv--who pines for his dearly departed wife--will take a little blue pill and suddenly become the stand-up senior citizen stud every guy watching My Life In Ruins will envy.

It's all lightweight fluff and fun, but there's a reason why The Love Boat was such a popular TV series--and it's the same reason why you'll like My Life In Ruins, if you just ease back into your seat and enjoy the ride.