New York Times - 05/11/2007
"[The film] serves and spins, taking its predictable plot in some surprising directions....The movie really belongs to Ms. Fonda and Ms. Lohan..."
Gary Marshall's GEORGIA RULE brings together Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda, and Felicity Huffman to play three generations in need of one another's guidance in this story about the bonds between three equally feisty women. When teen troublemaker Rachel (Lohan) pushes her alcoholic mother, Lilly (Huffman), over the edge, it becomes the responsibility of her grandmother, Georgia (Fonda), to set things straight. But even getting from San Francisco to Georgia's home in Mormon country proves difficult, with Rachel literally jumping out of the car and flirtatiously hitching a ride from handsome but guarded stranger Simon (Dermot Mulroney). No one in town is ready for Rachel, whose manic sexuality and screw-you attitude is a stark contrast to the strict Mormon values most of the local residents live by. Rachel's arrival and drama-filled stay force everyone she meets to question their way of life. Meanwhile, Georgia force-feeds Rachel the stern structure her own mother was too inebriated to offer, and while Rachel adamantly resists at first, she slowly starts to change, thanks to her grandmother's tough love.
The early tone of the film abruptly changes when Rachel makes a bold and disturbing confession, but then takes it back, forcing everyone around her to figure out the truth on their own. For the rest of the film, characters scramble to navigate Rachel's lies and to decipher the truth from her statements. Viewers are kept equally in the dark, as GEORGIA RULE struggles to be both a comedy and a serious drama. Shifting back and forth somewhat clumsily, the film does offer some funny moments, but dwells on issues far too unsettling to pass itself off as a lighthearted "chick flick." While the film seems unsure at times of its goal, it does feature strong performances from its leads: three women who are more similar than any of them would like to admit.