DanvilleSanRamon.com

Living - May 18, 2007

Movie review: Georgia Rule *

Rating: R for language and sexual situations Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Lindsay Lohan flaunts designer threads and a shabby attitude in this messier-than-thou melodrama that's guaranteed to repel.

Lohan is Rachel, a spoiled California tramp and one in a long line of screwed-up family females. Antagonism runs rampant between mom and daughter, and mom (Felicity Huffman as Lilly) finds herself, not surprisingly, at wits end. Sigh.

The only reasonable solution is to ship Rachel off to her grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda) who lives a god-fearing life in Hull, Idaho, a paean to idyllic small-town living.

Courtesy of the clunkiest dialogue this side of the Mississippi ("For a smart girl, you're good at stupid") dark secrets are revealed - among them the fact that mom is a closet drinker, Rachel does drugs and promiscuous sex, and the ubiquitous step-dad (a bloated Cary Elwes) may have been taking liberties of the salacious sort.

Local characters pepper Stepford - the aw-shucks love interest (Garrett Hedlund), the handsome but suffering doc (Dermot Mulroney), and hyper-snoopy neighbors - all part and parcel of the slapdash "plot" and misguided attempt at critical drama.

Lohan overplays her hand, not that the role demands subtlety. Hostile and obnoxious, she does nothing to dispel oft-circulating rumors of bratty behavior and everything to prove that art imitates life. Among her choicest bon mots "You don't have to brush me or feed me after riding me." Ouch.

"Georgia" never finds its groove, vacillating wildly between pathetic pathos, emotional blackmail and stabs - only stabs - at gentle humor.

I took a bullet so you don't have to. Skip it.

--Jeanne Aufmuth

For more movie reviews or local show times, go to www.DanvilleWeekly.com

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