The best thing I can say about "My Life in Ruins," a forced comedy about a woman finding love in the Greek isles, is that there's no ABBA.
Bad jokes abound, though, in this story of an American woman (Nia Vardalos) who takes a job as a low-rent guide and gets stuck taking awful tourists to see the sites.
One stereotype is worse than the next - ugly Americans (dressed in red, white and blue), an Aussie couple who's drunk all the time, snotty British aristocrats, etc.
There were a pair of sexually desperate Spanish divorcees - I'd like to learn more about them - but "My Life in Ruins" is a woman's movie, and is soon fixated on the overwhelmed tour guide's search for love.
She finds it in the front of the bus. The driver starts out looking like Sasquatch, but as the tour moves on, he shaves to reveal a face worthy of a Harlequin romance novel, and a torso as well, as we discover when he helpfully tears off his shirt.
He bats his long lashes at Vardalos' character, who is inexplicably slow to respond. She's expecting a better offer? Good luck. This guy's an upgrade, even, from John Corbett in Vardalos' phenomenally popular "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
An American widower (Richard Dreyfuss) eventually talks some sense into her, but not until he poses as the Oracle at Delphi - I kid you not.
In fairness, it must be said that "My Life in Ruins" does not end as awfully as it begins - the movie turns out to have a generous heart, and redeems some of the shabby treatment accorded its characters.
Still, it will have you wondering what the Greek letters are for DVD. *
Produced by Michelle Chydzik Sowa and Nathalie Marciano, directed by Donald Petrie, written by Mike Reiss, distributed by Fox Searchlight.