Georgia Rule

Haven’t you always wanted to see Barbarella, a desperate housewife and Lindsay Lohan all slug it out in a sloppy, movie-of-the-week style dramedy?

Haven’t you always wanted to see Barbarella, a desperate housewife and Lindsay Lohan all slug it out in a sloppy, movie-of-the-week style dramedy?

In Garry Marshall’s (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries) newest effort, Georgia Rule, Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan play a granny, a mother and a daughter, all of whom act like hateful, semi-despicable, self-loathing jerks, and all have wild mood swings and hate each other throughout different points in the film. Lohan plays a version of herself, Huffman plays a version of Courtney Love, and Fonda plays a granny who tells her granddaughter, “Fuck you.”

The plot is so formulaic it reeks of the Hollywood assembly line: Lohan plays a drinking, slutty, rebellious brat (what a stretch!) who is sent by her detached, alcoholic mother (Felicity Huffman) to spend the summer in the repressed Mormon town of Hull, Idaho, with Lohan’s rigid granny (Jane Fonda) named Georgia, who practices tough love.

But granny is also an enabler and doesn’t know how to express love, except through making her family adhere to her rules. Granny goes around saying things like, “We eat dinner at six. Georgia rule,” and “Wash your plate after dinner. Georgia rule.” Hence the title.

It turns out there’s a reason for Lohan’s slutty ways-she remarks to her boss (Dermot Mulroney, the sensitive male) in a too off-the-cuff way that her stepfather started having sex with her when she was 12. This comment doesn’t go unnoticed, so soon enough, Huffman comes to live with granny and Lohan, pondering the abuse allegations. She descends into an ever-deepening spiral of alcoholism, regret, hair-cutting (note the awful fake wigs Huffman wears), and wondering if her daughter was sexually abused by the step dad, or if she’s just lying to get some attention.

What’s that? Alcoholism, sexual abuse, and severe family dysfunction together in one ponderous movie? Sounds like a great combination for hilarity, right? No, definitely not. Doesn’t it make for great drama though? It could, but not in this case, as there are too many jokes, and the characters are simply clich퀌�s. The film teeters awkwardly between unusually explicit dialogue, pseudo-slapstick comedy and serious soap opera melodrama.

But since the film’s starlets are three generations of questionably attractive bombshells, the filmmakers take every opportunity to play that up. There is tons of gratuitous cleavage in this flick. Lohan spends most of the film parading around in underwear or shorter-than-short shorts, trying to seduce every guy she gets near, and forcing herself on the town hunk. She then goes with him as he apologizes for the encounter to his fianc퀌�e.

The fianc퀌�e, naturally, flips out and has her friends keep an eye on Lohan and the hunk. Lohan finally gets fed up with being constantly spied on and so confronts the fianc퀌�e’s friends. Lohan, as a strong, capable, independent woman, says, “Stop following me, or I’ll fuck all your boyfriends crazy.”

That’s right, her sexual allure is her only weapon against her enemies. This line got a huge laugh from the screening audience, which is rather worrisome. What a message to send to teenage girls. Lohan uses sex to try to get love from her boss, from her stepfather, and from the hunk. And with the hunk, it works! In a seriously unbelievable closing scene, the hunk declares his intention to marry Lohan. After all, she gave him a blowjob, shouldn’t he do something in return?

Not that Lohan is the only woman to be reduced to a sex object in this movie. Huffman (from the so-hot-right-now Desperate Housewives) gets some gratuitous time on screen in her bra and panties, wrestling on the ground with Fonda, then they both get literally hosed down by an adolescent boy. Freud would have a field day with this movie.

So in the end, the film is a mix of an awkward script, a number of forced soft-rock segues between scenes, and the moral lesson that it’s always important to be honest. No, wait, Lohan lies throughout the movie and never gets her comeuppance. In fact, she gets the good boy in the end. Maybe the lesson is that mothers always care for their daughters. No, because both mothers here are too self-involved to care about their daughters’ alcoholism or drug abuse. The lesson here, really, is: Only see this movie if you hate yourself and your money. Georgia rule.