ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Life In Ruins In Review

Updated on May 11, 2011

My favorite Nia Vardalos movie is...

See results

A Definite Rental

Yesterday afternoon, I attended a showing of the new Nia Vardalos movie, My Life In Ruins. Having seen and adored her first movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I secretly hoped that this movie would fill me with the same emotions. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Still, it wasn’t half bad.

Set in Greece, the story follows Georgia (Nia Vardalos), a frustrated Greek American tour guide who left the United States to teach History at a local Greek college just as the department was laying off professors. As she is the least popular tour guide (She educates the tourists about the attractions instead of allowing them to lounge around, buy souvenirs and have fun.) at a local agency, she is given all of the worst customers (uneducated Americans, old people who can’t move, sarcastic and self-absorbed men, Australians who speak in slang and are constantly drunk, etc.). On what she believes to be her last tour, she ends up befriending a recent widower named Irv (Richard Dreyfuss) who helps her put her life into perspective. Will she ever teach again? More importantly, will she ever find love? The suspense!

As you might expect (or suspect from my sarcasm), the story is quite predictable. Plus, the coming attractions are so telling that there are no surprises. We know going in that Georgia will fall in love and have her views of Greece change dramatically. What we don’t know is if Vardalos has enough charm left in her as an actress to pull it off. Though it’s a struggle, she does. Unlike her character in Greek Wedding, Georgia is bitter from being knocked down too many times by life. She is crabby and takes out her anger on a shaggy bus driver. So determined to use her degree to educate people about History, she burrows further into herself when people don’t want to spend their vacation listening to her go on and on. Were it not for the character of Irv and the acting talent of Dreyfuss, we may not have been able to see beyond Georgia’s self-pitying exterior. However, thanks to his wisdom, we do. (I’ve found that in the movies as well as in life it always takes the words of someone who has lost so much (In Irv’s case his beloved wife) to get one back on track.)

Perhaps it was unfair of me to go into this movie hoping for lightening to strike twice. Yet, looking at any promotional ad “The star of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ is finally going to Greece.” it is obvious that that is what the producers wanted you to think. Unfortunately for Vardalos, not many people saw her first movie for her. Personally, it is a favorite of mine because of her character's family. Having been partially raised in a large extended family like hers (Mine is Italian), I enjoyed finally being able to point at something to explain away some of my behavior and why I was never able to put friends first growing up. Ruins has no funny family members, but it still relies heavily on making fun of Greek customs. Though this worked for me before, I found the jokes to be offensive this time around. In families, you make fun of each other, but you are able to do that because you love each other. When people make fun of the silly customs of your culture, you still can stand with your family and laugh because of how true the jokes are. However, the jokes fell flat for me this time because it felt like Vardalos was critiquing her people instead of pointing out lovable quirks. Her movie relies so heavily on the potential humor of cultural stereotypes (Americans are annoying because they don’t understand cultural things and are selfish. Spanish women are all about sex and nothing more. British people are stuck up and can’t enjoy anything. Australians drink so heavily that no one can understand them even when they aren’t drunk. Greeks are lazy, uneducated and sloppy.) that you can’t get lost in the beautiful locations and you find it hard to cheer for a love match.

If you are a fan of Nia Vardalos and/or Richard Dreyfuss I recommend you rent this movie when it becomes available on dvd. As I said, it isn’t a bad movie. However, it doesn’t come close to My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 

      7 years ago

      Well, I enjoyed the movie. Richard Dreyfuss was funny and the bus driver was quiet but turned out to be not so bad looking after a shave and a shower....all in all I think it was a "cute" romantic comedy. Not the best ever, but it was "cute"!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)