My Life in Ruins parents guide

My Life in Ruins Parent Guide

The comedy, editing and overall execution of this film is, at best, clumsy and the big, fat cast of eccentric, stereotyped characters doesn't help.

Overall C+

Georgia (Nia Vardalos) feels like her life is in ruins after she moves to Greece to rediscover her roots and loses her job as a professor of ancient history. Forced to take on a gig as a tour guide, the depressed woman soon learns more about herself than Greek history, thanks to some unlikely friends (Richard Dreyfuss, Rachel Dratch and Alexis Georgoulis).

Release date June 5, 2009

Violence B
Sexual Content C+
Profanity B-
Substance Use C

Why is My Life in Ruins rated PG-13? The MPAA rated My Life in Ruins PG-13 for sexual content.

Run Time: 93 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

The wedding is long over, but Nia Vardalos is returning to her Greek roots in My Life In Ruins where she plays Georgia, a laid-off, ancient history professor turned frustrated tour guide in Athens. Dealing with busload after busload of terrifying tourists, it doesn’t help that she is left with the most difficult clients (namely Americans), thanks to her conniving co-worker Nico (Alistair McGowan), who makes sure all the easy pickings (namely Canadians) go with him. Rounding out her problems is an uncommunicative and unkempt driver with the strange nickname of Poupi (Alexis Georgoulis).

Once everyone is on the bus, the multi-day journey begins with Georgia using her academic talents to try and educate her apathetic crowd about basic Greek history. Among the assorted passengers on the overheated coach, is a representative of the top ten stereotyped travelers. These divergent personalities range from the nice little old lady (Sheila Bernette) who’s a kleptomaniac; the stuck-up Dr. Tullen (Caroline Goodall), her henpecked husband (Ian Ogilvy) and their misunderstood teenaged daughter (Sophie Stuckey); Marc (Brian Palermo) an IHOP manager and finally Irv (Richard Dreyfuss), an elderly man who is determined to be the funny guy.

With the miles passing by and the sun getting hotter, everyone becomes more impatient with Georgia’s educational take on the scenery and instead yearns to shop for baubles, eat ice cream and hit the beach just like Nico’s tour group is doing. (The audience, at this point, can’t help but wonder why these people went to Greece in the first place!) With the threat of mutiny on her hands, Georgia is forced to learn what this script is trying to pound into her brain: She must regain her kefi (the Greek term for mojo) and to do that she’s got to relax and have sex. (She admits it’s been a while since she has done either.)

No one should be surprised that both of these goals will be reached by the time the trip ends. While we don’t see any intimate details on the screen, there is frequent chatter about hetero and homosexual relationships and characters are shown in pre- and post-sexual situations. A scene of heavy drinking, a punch to the face and a few mild profanities round out the reasons parents may not want to bring younger kids along for the sightseeing (although it’s unlikely they will be interested in this story engineered for the 30-plus crowd).

Sadly, Vardalos still hasn’t managed to recreate the charm she stumbled upon in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The comedy, editing and overall execution of this film is, at best, clumsy and the big, fat cast of eccentric, stereotyped characters doesn’t help either. However, while “traditional” critics will no doubt take pleasure on making word plays with this movie’s title in reference to Vardalos’s future, for fans of this Canadian/American with Hellenistic heritage, My Life In Ruins may still prove to be a pleasant diversion.

Starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Rachel Dratch, Alexis Georgoulis.. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release June 5, 2009. Updated

My Life in Ruins
Rating & Content Info

Why is My Life in Ruins rated PG-13? My Life in Ruins is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content.

While this film is most likely to appeal to the over thirty crowd, anyone that does hitch a ride with this tour guide who "hasn’t had sex in forever," will catch more than a few glimpses of naked art, sexual jokes, crass terms and innuendoes. Sexual activity occurs between married and unmarried couples, although only some kissing is shown. A sexual threesome is implied. A straight man inadvertently attracts some homosexual attention. Women are seen in revealing clothing, underwear and bathing suits. A man suggests a woman use sexual favors to pay a debt. A character constantly shoplifts, and suffers no consequences for this illegal activity. Language includes the use of many mild and a few moderate profanities, along with some terms of Christian deity. An angry man tackles another, knocking him into a pool. After being involved in a fistfight, a man sports a bleeding lip. A motor vehicle accident is depicted: no injuries result. Alcoholic beverages are frequently consumed and some characters become slightly inebriated. A man smokes a cigar. Humor is derived from cultural stereotypes.

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My Life in Ruins Parents' Guide

Georgia is frustrated by the Greek lifestyle, because they don’t have a "life plan" and they take everything so lightly. They, in turn, believe life just happens, and that she takes things too seriously. Do you agree with either philosophy? What do you feel is the perfect balance?

For Georgia, Greece is all about history. For the tourists in her group, it appears to be all about ice cream. What do you look for in a holiday experience?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of My Life in Ruins movie is October 6, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 6 October 20009

The My Life In Ruins comes to DVD and Blu-ray with the following bonus extras:

- Deleted Scenes

- Alternate ending

- Everybody Loves Poupi   getting to know the Greek God Alexis Georgoulis

- Audio commentary with actress Nia Vardalos, Director Donald Petrie and writer Mike Reiss

The DVD release of My Life In Ruins is presented in widescreen with audio tracks in 5.1 Dolby Surround (English) and Dolby Surround (French). Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The Blu-ray release of My Life In Ruins is presented in widescreen format with audio tracks in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (English) and Dolby Digital (French). Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

Nia Vardalos got her big, fat, Hollywood break with the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She can also be seen in Connie and Carla.