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Georgia Rule - comedy DVD review
GEORGIA RULE Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 stars
Actors: Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman, Dermot Mulroney, Cary Elwes, Hector Elizondo
Director: Garry Marshall   Studio: Universal Studios
DVD release:04 September 2007   Runtime: 113 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Widescreen, Color, Dolby, Dubbed
DVD features: Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), The Making of GEORGIA RULE, The Women of GEORGIA RULE, On the Set with Garry Marshall, Director commentary, Deleted scenes, Gag reel, Theatrical Trailer

Teenaged girl (Lindsay Lohan). Mother at the end of patience (Felicity Huffman). A distant Idaho grandmother who agrees to take on the difficult child for the summer (Jane Fonda). Add the questionable truth of sexual abuse by a suave, rich stepfather (Cary Elwes) and the girl's behavior is predictable, her rage fueled by a loss of innocence.

Cases like this happen at every level of society, but they usually aren't exploited as a movie theme that uses a terrible situation as a plot point for a poorly-written script featuring the venerable Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman, actresses of real talent. Instead Rachel (Lohan) marches on set to steal the show and disrupt the lives of all she meets in a one-horse town where folks just don't move as fast as in California.

As a local, dour vet (Dermot Mulroney as Simon) carries the burden of the death of his wife and child on his lined face; Rachel blurts out little sympathy, stealing the poor man's thunder when she announces she has been sexually abused since twelve by her stepfather, Arnold. When Simon informs grandmother Georgia (Fonda), who in turn informs her daughter Lily (Huffman), the drama is on.

Is Rachel telling the truth? Could this be the reason for bad behavior, drug abuse and sexual abandon? And why, really, did Georgia keep Lily away from her own beloved father? Was Georgia jealous? She will never tell, although she offers plenty of free advice and snide humor for anyone who cares to listen. And this film wasn't a hit? I can't imagine why.

It is painful to watch Huffman and Fonda, face-lifted and Botoxed, playing stereotypical middle-aged and older women in the usual Hollywood grotesquerie. Even more difficult to watch is the ease with which Lohan fits into her character, false eyelashes intact for every scene, hair extensions strategically placed, a fake tan that stands out against the gray-haired paleness of Idaho veterinarian Simon.

Certainly the intentions are noble: old town ways contrast with the decadence of West Coast pretensions; unfortunately the stereotypes continue. Lily is married to a rich lawyer, a smooth-talking pedophile who offers his beloved Ferrari as a payment to Rachel, the one thoughtless act that tips the scales against him, marital accord shattered with one slip of the tongue.

But the rogue gets the last word, ("She seduced me!"), driving his wife into a frenzy of wild slaps and incoherent screeches. Mother and daughter cling to each other in grief and relief, the bossy Georgia (she of the ridiculous "Rules") smiling with satisfaction, the past reconciled with a hopeful future where Lily will find love in Simon's arms, even the semi-conscious Rachel destined for happiness with a virginal Mormon cowboy. The only person perfectly typecast is Lohan, who never has to stretch out of character to capture the sullen, spoiled grandchild who stalks through the town in skinny jeans and stiletto heels.
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reviewed by Luan Gaines
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