The drama Georgia Rule just plain doesn't work. At times, it feels like a Lifetime movie-of-the-week, but with a cast that far outclasses the genre. At times, you can see hints of an indie film-wanna-be style, but the characters and setting are too superficial, and the plot twists are too predictable and pat. Even the performances from an experienced cast don't add much life to the film -- in fact, if the performances had been worse, at least the film could have worked as a gloriously tacky melodrama. Instead, the film is a tedious yawn with only a few bright spots.
Wild-child Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) is sent to live with her grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda) for a few months before she heads off to Vassar, since her mother Lilly (Felicity Huffman) and stepdad Arnold (a sadly unrecognizable Cary Elwes) don't know what else to do with her. Georgia's iron-clad household rules (thus the title) cannot entirely thwart Rachel as she inflicts her brand of chaos on the small Idaho town, including the hot-but-devout-Mormon teen Harlan (Garrett Hedlund) and the older vet for which she ends up working, her mom's ex-boyfriend Simon (Dermot Mulroney). When Rachel confides something personal and devastating to Simon, all hell breaks loose and Lilly is forced to return to her estranged mother's house, where all three women have to learn to deal with one another. Or not.