Come for a comedy, stay for an afterschool special. Despite its slap-sticky trailer and one-liner strewn ad campaign, Georgia Rule is neither a dramatic comedy nor a romantic comedy nor a family comedy. Come to think of it, despite the usually steady hand of erstwhile female-centric comedy director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries), even the few intentionally funny moments are about as laugh-out-loud as a public hanging. If there were a genre capable of pigeonholing this insipid preachy hogwash, however, it would most certainly be ?Dramatic-awfully.? To group this insultingly cloying film in with the accepted canon of ?chick flicks? (Beaches, Steel Magnolias) would be to set the feminist movement back by a millennium.
In this surprisingly austere PG-13-rated drama, a frustrated mother (Felicity Huffman) takes her uncontrollable daughter (Lohan) to the one place she swore she would never return?her domineering mother?s (Fonda) Idaho farm.
Drinking and language and rape?oh my! For argument?s sake, let us imagine that the consensus of filmgoers walked into the theater oblivious to the fact that the movie poster adorning their theater featured three movie stars happy-go-luckily grinning from ear-to-ear. Open to the possibility of watching a drama, any audience would certainly entertain the strains of the rather serious themes addressed in Georgia Rule, right? Of course?only the murky plotting and forceful character development crocheted between the comedic moments makes for one mess of a mosaic that unintentionally makes light of its dark undercurrents. Think: the historic abortion episode of Maude but with pratfalls.
Bottom line: As laugh-out-loud as a public hanging.