It doesn't help that Lohan's latest film, Georgia Rule, endured documented production delays due in part to her childish on-set antics. And now that we're able to see the finished product, we realize the star plays... well, a coarse version of the pseudo-diva we've grown accustomed to. Without judging whether her scandalous exploits are accurate, it's difficult to hear Lohan utter lines like, "You can't stop what is done to you. You can only survive it," without applying such words of wisdom to her well-publicized, off-camera existence.
Not that it matters. Lohan, in her brief prime, couldn't have helped the schizophrenic Rule, which spoon feeds small-town lessons to a big-city lout who has grown too big for her britches. Unable to cope with her rebellious daughter Rachel, Lilly (Felicity Huffman) ships the boorish, confrontational teen (Lohan) to her grandmother Georgia's (Jane Fonda) Idaho abode for a personality rehab. Like a tornado in Daisy Duke shorts, Rachel uses her time to seduce the town doctor (Dermot Mulroney) and deflower a handsome Mormon boy preparing for a two-year mission of charitable service.
But there are darker themes lurking beneath Rule, and director Garry Marshall -- a clumsy, blunt, and obvious filmmaker -- transitions abruptly from Fonda's stream of acerbic advice bombs (coined Georgia Rules) to uncomfortably sexual and candidly honest confessions that tip the otherwise boring applecart. Rachel shocks Lilly with an accusation that she was abused by her stepfather, then recants and claims she made the story up. Devastated by the news, Lilly loses herself in bottles of booze and Georgia tries to keep her crumbling family intact.
Marshall can only sustain the subsequent did-he-or-didn't-he mystery until we learn daddy dearest is played by perennial scumbag Cary Elwes (now typecast as the sleazy villain in countless films). After that, Rule spins its wheels as Marshall tries to decide whether he's making the most insensitive comedy ever about alcoholism or the softest drama ever about child molestation. No matter which he chooses, this Frankenstein's monster of screenwriting clichés never has a chance.
Give me back my dimebag.
Run time: 113 mins
In Theaters: Friday 11th May 2007
Box Office USA: $18.9M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 97
IMDB: 5.9 / 10
Director: Garry Marshall
Producer: Michael Besman, Guy McElwaine, Kevin Reidy
Screenwriter: Mark Andrus
Starring: Jane Fonda as Georgia, Lindsay Lohan as Rachel Wilcox, Felicity Huffman as Lilly, Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Simon Ward, Cary Elwes as Arnold, Garrett Hedlund as Harlan, Héctor Elizondo as Izzy, Dylan McLaughlin as Sam, Zachary Gordon as Ethan, Laurie Metcalf as Paula