"Georgia Rule" gets only a fair ruling

May 16, 2007, midnight | By Erica Turner | 13 years, 8 months ago

A new twist on an the same old tale

If you are looking for a sweet family drama to turn to this season, steer clear of 'Georgia Rule,' a film that offers a direct, no-nonsense perspective on family relationships and boring dialogue to go along with it.

"Georgia Rule" begins like any typical mother-daughter tale. Lily (Felicity Huffman) and her daughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) are on the road to Hull, Idaho where Rachel has been banished for the summer. Lily is fed up with her daughter's unruly behavior and decides that she should spend the summer with her tough-loving grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda).

The film starts off interestingly enough. Rachel is dumped in a small town with nothing to do, but her wise-guy attitude and sharp tongue are the only things keeping the audience's attention.

Unfortunately for viewers, the plot begins to get boring after she accidentally reveals a deep secret to her boss, veterinarian Simon Ward (Dermot Mulroney). Rachel's decision to reveal her secret comes with a price and her mother must ultimately decide whether to accept Rachel as she is or disown her forever.

Rachel is not the typical sweet, innocent daughter. Instead, she plays a foul-mouthed, promiscuous teen that spends most of her time flirting with boys and Rachel's candidness about her relationship with Hull native, Harlan (Garrett Hedlund), almost goes too far. Lohan doesn't have to stray too far outside of herself to play this role, as her outlandish behavior has been in the spotlight for several years.

It seems like Marshall runs out of film ideas when Harlan asks Rachel to go with him to confess his relationship with her to his out-of-town girlfriend, June (Chelsea Swain). The whole trip seems only for comic relief if anything since it adds nothing to the development of the plot.

The whole film ultimately revolves around Rachel's secret, which has little depth. Lily and Rachel go back and forth questioning each other on the truth and don't reach common ground until the very end of the film. The drawn out secret causes the audience to be relieved that the movie is over.

On a brighter note, director Garry Marshall is able to provide an honest view on mother-daughter relationships and how they can be ruined by problems that often go untouched.

But don't get too excited—the film doesn't get miraculously better. Georgia's "rules" only loosely tie into the film. She tries to keep Rachel in check with unimportant rules (dinner begins promptly at six o'clock, and if bad language is spoken, wash your mouth out with soap and water), but it clearly doesn't work since the rules do little to change the outcome of the movie or add any substance to the film.

Audiences will probably leave the theater with unfulfilled expectations, because the commercials for this film offer a happier, more positive rendition of the relationships between the main characters. Instead, viewers will experience a more realistic film, but not one capable of capturing anyone's attention.

"Georgia Rule" runs for 113 minutes and is rated R for sexual content and some language.

Erica Turner. More »

Show comments


No comments.

Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.