My Life in Ruins is an upcoming romantic comedy film set amongst the ruins of ancient Greece, starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch, Harland Williams and British comedy actor and impressionist Alistair McGowan. The film is about a tour guide whose life takes a personal detour, while her group gets entangled in comic situations among the ruins with a series of unexpected stops along the way. The film, which has been given a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for sexual content, is scheduled to be released June 5, 2009 in the United States, and May 7, 2009 in Greece.
Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is a Greek American tour guide, who leads an assorted group of misfit tourists who would rather buy a T-Shirt than learn about history around Greece. In a clash of personalities and cultures, everything seems to go wrong, until one day when tourist Irv Gordon (Richard Dreyfuss), shows her how to have fun and take a good look at the last person she would ever expect to find love with: her Greek bus driver (Alexis Georgoulis)
The Acropolis will soon become the backdrop for a big-screen comedy after Athens gave the green light for the glory that was Greece to be used by Hollywood for the first time.
Breaking with a no-go policy, applied without distinction to the great and good of modern cinematography, Greece's powerful archaeological council (KAS) has permitted the classical masterpiece to feature in the movie - known for the moment as My Life in Ruins, and produced by Tom Hanks.
Filming of the comedy, a life-long dream of its star, Nia Vardalos, who shot to fame with the autobiographical hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is expected to begin in Athens next month. Ms Vardalos, who plays an archaeologist tour guide whose groups get entangled in comic situations among the ruins, struck lucky after convincing KAS that the movie would strengthen Greece's appeal abroad.
Despite persistent requests from some of the world's most acclaimed directors, Greek officials had always rejected the idea of the site, dating from 500BC, being filmed - on grounds it would degrade a monument regarded as sacred.
The actor reportedly spent months explaining the fine details of the comedy.
The movie will be produced by Play Tone, the firm run by Hanks and his half-Greek wife Rita Wilson, and will also feature Delphi, Epidaurus and ancient Olympia. An official at the Greek culture ministry said the 2004 Athens Olympics' successful impact on tourism had "most definitely" helped win the deal. "Ultimately it was decided that a Hollywood film shot in situ after the Olympics would promote ancient Greek civilisation and have long-term benefits for the country."
Hanks, who with Ms Wilson did much to promote Vardalos, a stand-up Los Angeles comic before she was discovered by the Hollywood couple, has a holiday home in Greece and regularly visits.
The decision is all the more startling since My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a low-budget film that became the highest grossing independent feature ever released, also irritated many Greeks who were unhappy at the way they, and their ethnic cousins in the US, were portrayed.