If you were to describe the movie Georgia Rule in a few short sentences on a sheet of paper, one might assume that it was an awful, awful movie. For example: It’s the tonally-disjointed gently comic story of three generations of women who do not get along with each other in the midst of a potential sexual abuse situation from the creator of Laverne and Shirley and The Other Sister, starring Lindsay Lohan. “Yikes,” you could imagine someone thinking to themselves after reading that description, “that sounds truly abysmal.” But that is just a short description. Can you really boil a movie like this down to a couple of sentences?
Yes, you can. Like “this movie is fucking awful.” That’s a sentence. Or, “I hate this movie, and I hate everyone involved with the making of this movie.” That’s another sentence. If you want even more, there are plenty of similar sentences after the jump.
Georgia Rule is about an unbearable girl named Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) who is sent by her mother (Felicity Huffman) to live with her grandmother (Jane Fonda) for the summer in Idaho. She hates rules! Boy oh boy, does she hate rules! She hates rules almost as much as she loves short skirts and sunglasses! (Very much.) Rachel hates her mother and her grandmother, and she has never washed a dish in her life, and she wants to fuck. She’s terrible. She’s basically a documentary of Lindsay Lohan. Her grandmother, Georgia, doesn’t stand for all this misbehavin, and she makes her take a job with the local veterinarian/human doctor (get it? Idaho!) working at the front desk. His name is Dermot Mulroney, and he recently lost his wife and child in a car accident. At first Rachel thought that he was gay, but it turned out that the reason he wasn’t staring at her legs is because he suffered one of the worst tragedies a human being can suffer. HAHA, SAME DIFF. (Also, maybe he wasn’t staring at her because she’s supposed to be 17 and he’s supposed to be the same age as her mom, and he has respectable human adult boundaries, just kidding, that can’t be it?!) Meanwhile, Rachel gives an Abercrombie and Fitch model a blowjob on a rowboat. Anyway, one day, to “prove a point,” Rachel tells Dermott Mulroney that she was molested by her stepfather. He tells her grandmother. Her grandmother confronts her when she gets home and knows that it is true, even though Rachel says that it was a lie that she told to prove a point (that point being that Dermot Mulroney shouldn’t be so sad about his wife and son being dead? GOOD POINT!) and Grandma calls Mom, and Mom drives all the way from San Francisco to Idaho in a physically impossible morning in order to tell the grandma that Rachel is lying. The Grandma and the Mom don’t get along, because not getting along RUNS IN THE FAMILY. Anyway, Rachel says that is true about the getting molested stuff, and her mom asks her stepdad for a divorce, but then her stepdad comes to Idaho and insists that Rachel is making it all up and that he forgives her but that he just wants his family back. Now the mom doesn’t know what to believe?! Rachel tells her that it turns out she WAS just making it up, and so the mom is going to go back to San Francisco with the stepdad. She goes to the stepdad’s hotel and tells him that she will continue to insist that he didn’t molest her as long as he makes sure that her mom is happy. He is like “sure, whatever,” but then she says something about a videotape? It’s hard to tell what is real and what is not real in this movie, just as the character Rachel has trouble determining what is real and what is a lie! Except the difference is she’s a fictional character and I don’t care! Anyway, then Rachel decides that she should tell her mom the truth (which is?) which is that she was molested by her stepfather, and so she and her grandmother (P.S. now they are friends, duh) and Dermot Mulroney and the Abercrombie and Fitch model pile into a pickup truck to chase after her, but she has already figured it out because the stepdad told her he was giving Rachel a Ferrari “just because,” and then he basically admits to having slept with Rachel and throws her luggage on the ground and is like “now you’re stuck back in Idaho like an asshole.” But he is the asshole, I guess. And now Rachel and her mom love each other for the first time, and also everyone loves each other, and the Abercrombie and Fitch model wants to marry Rachel, and Dermot Mulroney is there.
WOOOOOOOOF. What a terrible movie! In almost every way. It’s like that movie The Perfect Storm, except that instead of it literally being a perfect storm–an abnormal weather system in which three powerful storms converge upon the same patch of the ocean resulting in shipwreck and heartbreak–bad acting, a terrible story, and emotional dishonesty have combined to create a metaphorical perfect szzzzzzzzzzz I just fell asleep trying to finish that joke. The point is yuck. I wish I had drowned to death!
Remember how in The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke was perfect for that role because it was, in many ways, a reflection of his own hard road of bad life decisions and equally or worse bad face decisions? Georgia Rule is kind of like that in the sense that Lindsay Lohan’s character is a terrible, self-involved, sexually aggressive because of low self-esteem nightmare. But the problem is that she is also a terrible actress. So the part where you are supposed to switch tacks and actually care about her (because how could you NOT care about Lindsay Lohan getting molested?) it’s like, no, sorry, I still just hate her. I’m sorry she had sex with her stepdad, except that I also know that she didn’t, because this movie is make believe, and actually it seems kind of insulting to people who have suffered terrible psychological and sexual trauma. “We’re not all assholes who can’t even act,” say their picket signs, outside of Gary Marshall’s hospital room. (Get well soon, Gary Marshall!)
But even if Lindsay Lohan wasn’t a terrible actress, and she really, REALLY is, you still couldn’t save this movie. It’s the most complicated bubblegum look at child molestation I have ever seen. The tone is defiantly “romantic comedy,” even though the subject matter is expressly “serious drama.” The tagline for this thing?
In this family, attitude doesn’t skip a generation.
Maybe not attitude, but the stepfather’s dick certainly skipped a generation (of vaginas). I mean, do you see my point? This is presented as a movie about three saucy women who are powerful and don’t always see eye to eye but you know blood is thicker than water and the ties that bind and also RAPE. Yuck. Yuck, Gary Marshall. In your hospital bed, making weird movies. Not to mention the distinctly tone-deaf and contradictory 1980s Hollywood depiction of middle America that is painful to watch. Like, Lindsay Lohan shows up to this small town and everyone on the street waves and says hello to her because in Middle America that is jus’ how folks is. But at the same time they all think she is a slut and they hate her city ways? WELL WHICH IS IT? Are they instantly generous and kind or instantly suspicious and judgmental?
Nurse! More medicine for Mr. Marshall, please!
I guess this is funny?
Sort of. Probably not. “It’s like when Lindsay Lohan’s character had to masturbate her stepdad to climax.” Ugh. I’m sorry. That was gross. You know what else is gross? Exploiting the serious situation of child sexual abuse to add emotional depth to your terrible garbage movie.
I know that secrets are a thing that you keep for a long time, but another thing that should have been kept for a long time was this script, on a shelf, away from cameras and actors and Gary Marshall’s Prescription-medicine-addled brain*. I would put it in the Top 5 (Bottom 5) Worst Movies of All Time, but I don’t even want to dignify it with any kind of recognition. Let’s just pretend that it was sailing off the coast of Florida and it disappeared. “Sir, the radar has gone blank.” Final salute.
*It should be noted that as far as I know, Gary Marshall is not sick and is not in the hospital. I don’t know why I kept talking about him that way and referring to his hospital bed and his medical treatments. I guess I was just so mad about this movie, and I wanted to get back at him with teasing and name calling. Sorry, Gary Marshall.