Vague and Clichéd
Release Date: May 11, 2007
Starring: Jane Fonda, Lindsey Lohan,
Felicity Huffman, Dermot
Mulroney, Cary Elwes, and
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: : ** Vague and Clichéd **
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Garry Marshall
Executive Producer: Guy McElwaine and Kevin Reidy
Producer: David E. Robinson and James G.
Writer: Mark Andrus
Address Comments To:Jeff Zucker, Chairman/CEO
(A division of General Electric)
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Marc Shmuger, Chairman
David Linde, Co-Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
"Right and wrong" and "truth and lie" are repeated throughout the film. The three main characters are identified with these words. Rachel pretty much ignores right and wrong and goes back and forth between lie and truth like a ping pong ball.
Georgia plays her rules in a "stiff-necked" way and predictably with seemingly no forgiveness and very little love.
Rachel’s mother, Lilly (played by Felicity Huffman with a keen fragility), has no rules – or none that she can hold on to in her life. She reflects the pain of her mother's loveless commands and thus has no notion of how to reach her daughter.
This should have been a good movie. It ends almost tearfully for the audience with a certain amount of redemption and hope. And, the acting is superb, with each role, even the minor ones, nuanced and believable.
What falls short is the directing and screenwriting. This is surprising considering the director and writer, Garry Marshall (PRINCESS DIARIES) and Mark Andrus (AS GOOD AS IT GETS), the cast, and the well-structured plot.
When a conflict moves to crisis in the movie, however, the filmmakers resort to cliché. Instead of building the scene, there were cheap sexual innuendos and gratuitous foul language. In one of the movie’s most important dramatic climaxes, what should have been a heartfelt scene between a mother trying to help her daughter battle alcoholism disintegrates into a "mock" tribal ceremony where the women sit surrounded by liquor bottles and candles bemoaning the fact that the daughter has cut off her hair.
GEORGIA RULE had potential. The plot of four generations living by empty, relatively godless rules was a good start. The rules were drilled into Georgia. She passed them on to her daughter, Lilly. Lilly refused to pass them on to Rachel, but nothing was given to Rachel in their place.
Although it ends on a redemptive, hopeful note, the movie does not take advantage of the spiritual possibilities of its story. The movie skirts around the possible religious beliefs of the characters and downplays any possible religious components behind its moral elements.
GEORGIA RULE has some excellent acting, but the filmmakers rely too much on cliché. Also, the words "right and wrong" and "truth and lie" are repeated, but the movie's and the characters' worldviews are mixed. The movie also has some crude sexual references and crude language. Thus, although it ends on a redemptive, hopeful note, the movie does not take advantage of the spiritual possibilities of its story. The movie skirts around the possible religious beliefs of the characters and downplays any possible religious components behind its moral elements.