What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although star Lindsay Lohan has some younger fans, this definitely isn't a teen flick (remember, director Garry Marshall is the man behind Pretty Woman as well as The Princess Diaries ...). Lohan's character lies, takes drugs, has sex indiscriminately (she's called a slut several times), and is basically without any inhibitions or common sense. The movie also tackles serious family issues like alcoholism, religion, fractured mother-daughter relationships, promiscuity, and sexual abuse. Teens too young to deal with dysfunctional sexual issues are probably too young to handle the mature themes of this "comedy."
What's the story?
Lindsay Lohan is Rachel, a spoiled, highly sexualized San Francisco 17-year-old who's simply out of control: She lies, drinks, does drugs, and sleeps around without giving it a second thought. Her recovering alcoholic mom, Lilly (Felicity Huffman), realizes that her laissez faire parenting has created a narcissistic, manipulative monster, so she packs Rachel up and sends her to live with grandma Georgia (Jane Fonda) in small-town Idaho. Surrounded by rural Goody Two-shoes and her titular, rule-bound grandmother, Rachel gets her kicks by befriending handsome townie Harlan (Garrett Hedlund) and tempting sweet widower Simon (Dermot Mulroney), who happens to be her mom's high school boyfriend. Sex is a game, and Rachel knows exactly how to win. The movie adds a shocking backstory two-thirds of the way through when Rachel alleges that she's the victim of years of sexual abuse at the hands of her seemingly loving stepfather, Arnold (Cary Elwes).
Is it any good?
Despite her off-screen reputation, Lohan has real acting chops; Fonda and Huffman, for their part, are clearly gifted actresses. But even their dramatic pedigrees can't save this melodramatic mess from devolving into quick-fix sentimentality.
Septuagenarian director Garry Marshall has made many a woman-centered film, most of which are perfect for mother-daughter time -- Beaches, The Princess Diaries, etc. But GEORGIA RULE isn't the light-and-fuzzy Mother's Day picture it's being marketed as in TV ads. (Don't forget, Marshall is the man behind the funny-but-prostitute-focused Pretty Woman, too.)
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether stars' off-screen lives affect how you perceive them on-screen. Did what you know about Lohan's personal life distract you from her performance?
Families can also discuss the need for rules and boundaries. How did Lilly's lack of rules affect Rachel?