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My Life in Ruins

Movie Information

In Brief: After Connie and Carla (2004) failed to duplicate the freakish $244 million success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) — by about $236 million — Nia Vardolos more or less withdrew from the scene, only to return with My Life in Ruins (2009). Apparently, she thought it was closer in tone to Greek Wedding, but it also failed to duplicate that earlier success — once again by about $236 million. So why is it being brought back? I have no idea, but then I had no idea why people were so keen on My Big Fat Greek Wedding either.
Score:

Genre: Romantic Comedy with Built-in Travelogue
Director: Donald Petrie (Welcome to Mooseport)
Starring: Nia Vardolos, Richard Dreyfus, Alexis Georgoulis, Alistair McGowan, Harland Williams
Rated: PG-13

From the original review: Nia Vardalos returns to flash her teeth at us in My Life in Ruins. Considering that the pun of its title — referring to both the main character’s emotional state and her locale in Greece — is probably the cleverest thing about the movie, you may well need to know nothing else. Rarely has such an undisguised compendium of clichés cluttered up the screen. It’s like neither Vardalos, nor director Donald Petrie, nor former Simpsons scribe Mike Reiss can be bothered to dress any of this up to disguise its utterly derivative nature. The truth is they probably weren’t bothered, because they felt they didn’t need to be.

This isn’t a movie; this is a commodity. The whole point is that it’s all so comforting and familiar that you’re supposed to have been programmed to like it for those very reasons. And there’s a chance that you very well might. I can’t say I hated it myself. I was never bored by it, though that may have in part been simple fascination at the way it kept doing exactly what I thought it would at every single turn, which verges on a kind of genius one rarely encounters. Even the most hackneyed screenplay usually manages at least one minor variation, if only by accident. Not so here.

Full review here

The Hendersonville Film Society will show My Life in Ruins Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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