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MY LIFE IN RUINS
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NOTE: This spoiler sent in by L.

Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is a Greek American woman stuck in Greece. She applied to be a professor at Athens University, but lost her job because of cutbacks. As a result, she is working as a tour guide. She stresses the fact that many people tell her that she’s lost her kefi (Greek for mojo).

The film picks up with Georgia late for work. She dresses, puts her rent on the table and runs out the door with luggage. When she arrives, her boss scolds her. Georgia receives a letter, but it’s already been opened. Her boss callously tells her that she did not get the job. Her boss proceeds to lecture Georgia about the fact that every tour group she has had marks her average, and that if she is an average tour guide, she will never be anything more than an average person. Georgia points out that her tours are all about the ruins and not about souvenir shopping like the other tour guide. Her boss dismisses this allegation and tells Georgia that her bus driver quit. Georgia asks about a replacement and her boss tells her that it is Prokopi, a shaggy haired temporary bus driver. Georgia starts to complain about him and his appearance, unaware that Prokopi is right behind her. She thinks he doesn’t speak English, so she starts to gather her stuff.  The other tour guide, Nico, arrives and thanks the boss for giving him the better group and bribes her with chocolates. Georgia gets a little mad but goes to collect her group. Nico asks the boss if he can have a raise if he gets Georgia to quit and the boss agrees.

Georgia is in charge of group B. Group B is a group of misfits:

  • Marc: Head Marketer for IHOP.
  • The Spanish Divorcees (Lala and Lena): they are recently divorced and off men (but still looking)
  • Dr. Tullen, Mr. Tullen and Caitlyn Tullen: A British family with marital problems and an uptight daughter.
  • Big Al and Kim: The obnoxious Americans who take to calling Georgia “Angie” and are trying to conceive a child.
  • Irv (Richard Dreyfus): an elderly old man who cracks a lot of jokes.
  • Doris and Barnaby: an elderly British couple. Barnaby is in a walker and is somewhat weak.
  • Gator – An American Teen from Florida who is meeting his girlfriend in Greece for the first time.
  • Ken and Sue: Australians who are always drinking and can barely be understood.

The tour group gets on the bus and goes through introductions. Georgia introduces Prokopi but the group wants to know his full name: Prokopi “Poupi” Kakas. This causes a lot of laughter and Georgia tells Prokopi in Greek that they are laughing at his name. Prokopi shrugs it off by saying laughter is good.  When it gets hot, the group discovers that the air conditioning on the bus is broken when it begins to spew dust on the passengers. Doris hands out souvenirs to everyone, which seem to be very expensive. She tells everyone that it didn’t cost a thing, implying that she is very rich. Nico comes on the bus and undermines Georgia by bringing warm donuts on board and offering them before pretending that he thought Georgia’s group was his own. He leaves, upsetting the tourists who want donuts. Georgia turns to sit down and sees a small flower. Marc, the IHOP manager winks at her (he actually got sunscreen in his eyes), but Georgia thinks he likes her.

Georgia takes them to their first destination on the tour, a set of ruins. The tourists are not pleased and ignore most of what she has to say about the history of the ruins. Nico puts on a cheesy picture display for all the tourists, which make Georgia’s group hate their trip even more. They go shopping near the ruins and Georgia goes and buys the whole group a bunch of kebabs known as souvlaki. Prokopi tags along and Georgia tells him (in English, thinking he can’t understand) how much he hates the country, the people and the fact that she hasn’t had sex in forever. He replies that forever is a long time, startling her. The entire line understood what she was saying and Georgia leaves embarrassed.

Prokopi tells her that they should get a coffee and wants to let her talk more. Georgia tells him that everybody in Greece takes coffee breaks at random and declines. Prokopi tells her that she is too uptight…and skinny. He then walks away and passes Doris, stealing a bunch of expensive souvenirs. Georgia offers them all souvlaki but Niko again undermines her by offering to take all the tourists to the Hard Rock Café. Caitlyn comes up to Georgia and asks her if they are going to be going to the beach. Georgia tells her it’s not on their itinerary and Caitlyn skulks off. Mr. Tullen comes tells Georgia that Caitlyn suffers from “Hornendorf” syndrome and that it is a genetic disease. Georgia accepts this and ends the tour for the day.

Prokopi drives the group to their hotel, following Nico’s bus. Georgia sees the hotel thee group was assigned and recognizes that it’s a dump. She helps everyone get their things to their rooms and ends up waiting for the elevator alone. The elevator breaks and as Prokopi walks up, Georgia tells him that they have to use the stairs. She gives a monologue about how Greece is: no place for privacy (Irv opens his closet and sees Lena and Lala changing), things are always broken (Marc braking the flusher on the toilet), and people are always on their coffee break (the manager of the hotel drinking coffee and watching people dance on TV). She calls her boss, but the boss hangs up before Georgia can start complaining.

Upset, Georgia takes a piece of paper and tells her boss “Maria, you are almost my only friend here in Greece. I just want you to know. After this tour – I quit! Love, Georgia.” She turns in for the night. The next morning she asks the hotel manager to mail it for her. He tells her that it is 20 Euros but tells her that if she sleeps with him, it’ll be free. She asks how many times that has worked. He tells her four times. She pays and as she does, Prokopi walks by with a clean shave. She doesn’t notice and they take the tour to the next site.

The group goes to an old church and they all ignore Georgia’s lecture on its history. Irv makes a joke at Dr. Tullen’s expense, which causes her to flip. When Tullen confronts Georgia outside, Georgia basically tells Tullen to deal with it, and Tullen gets Georgia to freak out. Georgia hands out her evaluation forms and tells them they can do whatever they want and can fill the forms so that they can tell her how bad a guide she is. Irv comes out of the church and tells her that in 20 years of tours, this is the worst because his wife isn’t with him. Georgia doesn’t realize that Irv’s wife died and tells her that Irv’s wife is probably happy vacationing somewhere else. Everyone is shocked when they realize what happened.

Georgia feels like an idiot and Prokopi comes up with an ice cream cone. He tells her to give it to Irv as an apology. Georgia goes over to him and gives Irv the cone, but Irv doesn’t want it. He tells her about how he used to be an ice cream taster and that once his wife got sick he spent all his time taking care of her. Georgia tells him that it is her last tour. Irv tells her that they need to celebrate and burn her tour jacket. Irv tells her that her problem is that she doesn’t relax and she’s always uptight. She starts to relax and gets ice cream on her jacket. She laughs it off and while the two aren’t good yet, Irv tells her that they are better. Prokopi tells Georgia that she knows a place to take the tourists shopping. She finds a flower attached to her microphone and thinks that it is Marc who is trying to impress her.

In the agora (marketplace), Big Al and Kim get into an argument with a vendor. Georgia goes over to translate and tells them that they want to buy a cheap Korean made pottery piece. He calls them stupid Americans who don’t know anything and because of that, he will charge them extra and give Georgia a kickback. Georgia translates this into “he says that he will sell you this piece of pottery his grandmother made for 20 euro and kick back and relax in the city.” The two buy this at face value, and happily pay for the pottery. Georgia walks away and passes Doris stealing pottery in her purse. Back at the bus, Georgia apologizes for her outburst and Irv gives a fake apology as well, which makes everyone laugh.  They realize that the only person not on the bus is Doris. Doris comes running on and tells them that they should leave immediately. Georgia sees a merchant angrily yelling about an old woman who stole from his store. Doris gives the necklaces to Lala and Lena and the merchant sees this. Prokopi puts the bus into gear and they drive away with the merchant running after the bus.

That night at the hotel, everyone is having a good time and drinking. Caitlyn is sitting around sulking, pretending to listen to music. Irv plays on the piano to entertain everyone. Nico gives Gator a shirt with Greek writing on the back as a present and convinces the ladies that throwing plates on the ground is a tradition. Kim, Doris and Sue throw plates on the ground. Georgia is asked to pay for it, but Doris tells her not to worry. She goes over to Nico and hugs him. When she walks away, she takes out his wallet and takes a twenty and throws the rest away. Georgia tells Doris that she needs to stop stealing, and Doris hugs her. Doris then hands back Georgia’s cell phone, wallet and jewelry, impressing Georgia. They split the stolen twenty and say goodnight. Georgia goes over to Irv and they have a heart to heart. Irv knows she hasn’t had sex in a while and Georgia tells him that she is interested in someone. She indicates the bar where Prokopi and Marc are sitting. Irv encourages her to go talk to him, thinking it’s Prokopi that she’s interested in. He looks disgusted and shocked when she starts talking to Marc. Prokopi sees this and, disgusted, leaves.

Marc is oblivious to the fact that Georgia is hitting on him and starts talking about syrup. He bores Georgia for hours until she falls asleep. The next morning, Irv tells her that the reason she’s failing as a tour guide is because she isn’t giving them something memorable. He tells her that “sex sells.” On the bus Irv jokingly starts with a blessing, which he bestows on the ever quite Barnaby. On the way to the temple at Delphi she tells the group about the oracle at Delphi. Irv winks at her and she starts to describe the Oracle and told of how she was a virgin and would dance upon inhaling incense (clearly describing the scene in 300). As Georgia starts dancing, Prokopi gets distracted and the bus gets into an accident.

Prokopi goes and climbs up the hill near the crash as a tow truck repairs the bus. Big Al asks Georgia about Prokopi because he seems a bit creepy. Kim interjects and says he’s “mysterious.”

Georgia goes up to talk to him and Prokopi tells her that he crashed the car because she distracted him and goes into a speech about how even though she wants her life to go somewhere; her actions create obstacles, which keep her from moving forward. She asks him why he has no ambition to move forward in life and he makes her realize that as a driver in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, he gets a front seat to natural beauty. He asks her what happened with Marc and when she tells him nothing, he says good and walks back to the bus.

The group tour Delphi. Caitlyn gets bored and mouths off at her parents and Georgia says she’s sorry to Dr. Tullen about Caitlyn’s condition. When Dr. Tullen asks “what condition?” Georgia hesitates to say “Hornendorf” syndrome. Mr. Tullen was shaking his head during this exchange and Dr. Tullen gets upset with him. Apparently Hornendorf was Dr. Tullen’s maiden name. Amidst the squabbling, the group arrives at the place where the oracle would hide when visitors came for prophecies. Irv goes in and the group asks him various questions. He tells the Tullens that they are examples for their daughter and need to get their stuff together. He tells Ken where the bathroom is. He ends by telling Big Al that being a parent is one of the best things you can do in life, assuaging Big Al’s fears of being an inadequate father. 

Irv and Georgia talk about life and love for a bit and Irv tells her that if she takes a chance to step back, everything will fall into place. At this moment, Doris cries out for her husband and we see that Barnaby, who needed a walker to get around, is walking without the walker. Doris claims that it is because Irv blessed Barnaby earlier. This creates the idea in the group’s mind that Irv is a divine being. This is quickly brushed aside by Irv as a coincidence.

That night, everyone is celebrating and having a good time at a nice hotel. Nico is by the pool chatting up some Canadian women. Gator is drinking with two guys and Marc is hanging out with the Australians. As Georgia walks around, she talks to Irv and Irv tells her where Prokopi is. However, before she can go find him, Doris alerts her to Gator’s drinking. When Georgia reads what the back of Gator’s shirt says she immediately goes over to ask him what he’s doing and where he got the shirt. Gator tells her that Nico gave him the shirt as a gift and that these two guys are out drinking him. Georgia tells him that the shirt says “Enter at the Rear” and that the two guys were getting him drunk in order to have sex with him. Gator asks to be excused and tackles Nico into the pool and trying to beat him horribly. The gay men follow and dive in, calling dibs on Nico.

Georgia finally finds Prokopi sitting at the end of a fishing dock playing guitar. They flirt for a bit but Georgia tells him that they can’t start anything because Georgia intends to leave Greece. He kisses her and tells her that her butt is too small. Before long they are making out on the dock.

After having sex in Prokopi’s room, Georgia and Prokopi here a bang from the next room and come out. They see Irv leave his room with an Ice bucket. Irv sees them together and chuckles before the door opens up to reveal that Irv slept with Lala and Lena. Georgia asks Irv how he pulled it off. He simply tells her “little blue pill.” The door across from them opens up to reveal Doris, fresh off of having sex with Barnaby. After laughing over the situation, Georgia asks them if they were ready to get revenge on Nico.

Lala and Lena begin flirting with Nico on the patio where he’s nursing a beat up face. Doris hugs him so that she can steal his keys and give them to Georgia. Georgia takes the keys and they break into Nico’s bus. Prokopi steals the air-conditioning system and installs it in his bus and gives Nico’s bus the crappy air-conditioner. When they’re done, Georgia returns the keys to Doris. Doris hugs Nico good night, and the women all leave Nico. The jump for joy upon pulling a fast one on him.

The next morning, the weather is excruciatingly hot. Georgia tells Nico that it’s going to be brutal, and Nico doesn’t suspect that his air-conditioning doesn’t work. He shrugs her off and gets on his bus. On their bus, Georgia offers to turn on the air-conditioning, but the others don’t want to be sprayed with dust. Playing off of the “Irv is God” suggestion, Georgia has Irv “bless” the air-conditioning. When it works, everyone cheers. She then tells them the itinerary for the day, which makes their faces drop, but she cancels and tells Prokopi to take them to the beach.

At the beach, the group bond further. Prokopi calls his nephew, Doody Kakas, to entertain and hang out with Caitlyn. Dr. Tullen and her husband enjoy the beach and rekindle their marriage. Big Al and Kim have sex in the Tullen’s tent. Georgia, Doris and Sue watch Prokopi come out of the ocean and they enjoy the beach.

That night, they start a bonfire. Georgia burns her uniform and Marc throws away his pager. Georgia wants to make the flame go higher so she looks for Irv. She sees him after a heart attack and Prokopi calls an ambulance.

The next morning, the group is at the Acropolis and Georgia tells them why she loves the Acropolis and the group listens. Gator tells Georgia that even though they’ve seen all the ruins, they haven’t gone where they wanted to go: a Greek hospital. On their way out, Nico flips out on his group and they attack as retribution. The group visits Irv and wish him a speedy recovery. Irv jokes that it’s the best vacation he’s had in a while.

That night is a gala event for the tourists. During the gala, Georgia’s boss arrives and offers Georgia a raise. Georgia asks if the boss got her letter, but when the boss shows it to her the resignation was ruined by coffee from the hotel manager’s drink. The boss hands Georgia a letter from Michigan University offering Georgia a position as a professor. She turns it down and tells Prokopi that she doesn’t know what the future holds, but she’s ready to let it happen.


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