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Old 05-23-2007, 10:47 AM   #100
tobynosker
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Georgia Rule
Directed by Gary Marshall
Written by Marc Andrus
Starring Hector Elizondo, Cary Elwes, Jane Fonda, Zachary Gordon, Garrett Hedlund, Felicity Huffman, Lindsay Lohan, Dylan McLaughlin and Dermot Mulroney


Despite her negative image in the media, Lindsay Lohan is a remarkable young actress who first made audiences take notice in the fun and refreshing teen comedy Mean Girls. Lohan has stumbled a bit in subsequent adolescently-geared projects like Herbie: Fully Loaded and Just My Luck, but she has also successfully separated herself from her teen queen image by taking on supporting roles in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion and Emilio Estevez's Bobby. Lohan continues her dramatic turn in director Gary Marshall's latest film Georgia Rule.

Lohan stars as Rachel, a reckless teenager sent by her mother Lilly (Felicity Huffman) and stepfather Arnold (Cary Elwes) to live with her grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda) in a small-town in Idaho for the summer before her freshman year of college. Rachel immediately begins her visit on the wrong foot, foolishly seducing the ignorant and innocent Mormon boy Harlan (Garrett Hedlund), and dropping an unexpected bombshell in a conversation with her new boss, local veterinarian Simon (Dermot Mulroney).

Rachel disposes of the fact that she has been sexually abused by her stepfather Arnold since she was twelve-years old, which shocks and worries her grandmother Georgia. Georgia alerts Rachel's unaware mother Lilly about the ongoing abuse, but Lilly has a hard time trusting her wild child based on Rachel's careless behavior over the years.

Georgia Rule sparked a ton of media attention in the summer of 2006 when Morgan Creek Productions CEO James G. Robinson's warning letter to Lohan about her discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional conduct on the set of the movie was endangering the quality of the picture. Yet Lohan, who was recently named the hottest woman in the world by Maxim magazine, turns in the best performance in the film and the best performance of her young career.

Certain elements in the movie seem catered to Lohan's heedless and well-publicized lifestyle, but Lindsay's ability to change from facetious to angry and then to vulnerable is striking, and her performance stands-out as one of the better female performances so far in 2007. In only her second-film in sixteen-years, Fonda's work as Georgia is much better suited for her style and her age than her absurd performance in 2005's Monster-in-Law, while Huffman's (Transamerica, TV's Desperate Housewives) character is oftentimes clownish and the weakest of the bunch.

The supporting characters are also enjoyable to watch, but they feel underdeveloped and hackneyed in Mark Andrus' (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Life as a House) insipid script. And despite the strong acting, director Marshall (The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Raising Helen) struggles trying to find an adequate tone for the movie, with many of the comedic moments intended to offset the dramatic turns ultimately falling flat.

A dramedy about three generations of women and their relationships with each other, Georgia Rule is a corny made-for-Lifetime movie that is partially saved through the casting of its stars Fonda, Huffman and Lohan.


**/****


Upcoming Movie Reviews:
The Breed, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and The Messengers
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