My Life in Ruins
PG-13
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2

Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis. Directed by: Donald Petrie

FILM SYNOPSIS: As in My Big Fat Greek Wedding a few years ago, Nia Vardalos portrays a lonely single woman. Georgia is a professor of ancient history who has returned to her native Greece hoping to share her love of Greek history with serious students. Instead, she finds herself conducting tours on a rickety, unairconditioned bus filled with a motley crew of tourists more interested in shopping and eating than in history. Dealing with a shoplifter, two romance-seeking divorcees (Rachel Dratch and Maria Bratto), and an obnoxious IHOP pancake executive, along with other logistic problems, forces the frustrated tour director to listen to wise and funny Irv (Richard Dreyfuss). He convinces the uptight Georgia to lighten up and allow her captive audience to have fun.

This romantic comedy will generate more smiles than hearty laughter, but itís a great escape movie at a time when most of us need all the smiles we can get. The breathtaking photography featuring The Parthenon, the Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia and Athens outshines the predictable storyline.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Unfortunately, Irv suggests that Georgia needs sex in her life. He steers her toward the bus driver, Poupi (Alexis Georgoulis), a quiet, sullen guy she has completely ignored. But when he shaves his beard and cuts his long hair (kind of like the plain-jane librarian or secretary in old movies who removes her glasses and lets her hair fall to her shoulders), he becomes handsome and aggressive . Later in the hotel, the two are intertwined covered by a sheet. Even more disappointing, Irv and the two divorcees admit to having a threesome as they leave a hotel room wrapped in sheets. Treating sex as a release, not an expression of love, will send out the wrong message to teenagers.

Several off-color remarks, a few crude expressions and exclamatory profanities donít add anything to the quality or entertainment value.

On the positive side, My Life in Ruins celebrates life. Traveling in groups brings out the best and worst of people, and when things go wrong, itís the tour guide who bears the pressure to make it work. Georgia learns how to do that and that first impressions can be mistaken. Irv comes across as the typical American tourist demanding attention with loud remarks and jokes. However, he becomes the glue that fixes the cracks in a group of unhappy travelers. Eventually they all bond as friends willing to overlook each otherís flaws.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Summary
Crude Language: Use of a few slang words for body parts
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: A few exclamatory expressions taking the Lordís name in vain
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: Implied (unmarried couple, no nudity); implied (one man and 2 women)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Couple wrapped in sheet, remarks recommending casual sex; voluptuous women wear low-cut necklines, off-color jokes
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Casual sex treated as essential for happiness
Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)