Snarkiness aside, GEORGIA RULE is pretty much as mediocre as it looked and on par with the rest of Garry Marshall’s unfortunate cinematic output from the past decade. It’s main problem is easy to spot right off the bat—the movie is more uneven than Christopher Walken’s oral rhythm. It feels like somebody wrote a straight comedic screenplay about a wild teen clashing with her mother and small town grandmother, and then someone else decided to spice it up by injecting a bunch of heavy dramatic moments without bothering to blend the two genres together. One second everything’s (supposedly) funny and cute, and then BAM!...everybody’s crying and talking about underage rape.
Unfortunately, even separately, neither of GEORGIA RULE’s schizophrenic halves works. The comedy is your generic Garry Marshall fluff, but there’s not enough humor to make it a lighthearted romantic comedy. (And the romance subplots are barely existent.) Likewise, the tone of the movie is too carefree to take its decidedly adult subject matter seriously. (Do you really want me to be laughing at a movie about alcoholism and sexual abuse?) The result ends up being a benign—if not annoying—mess, complete with a schmaltzy story, lessons learned and a soft piano score to tie it all together. Gag me, please.
If you’re a guy looking to score some points with a significant other by watching a feel good chick flick, this is not it. Unless you enjoy lots of awkward moments of Lindsay Lohan talking about how her stepdad molested her.
Commentary by director Gary Marshall: It’s easy to listen to Marshall talk, as he comes across as a nice, funny and respectful guy. I just don’t particularly care about anything he has to say regarding this movie.
The Making of GEORGIA RULE (7:30): “Casting is extremely important especially when you have a script which…there’s characters…there’s words. You gotta say the words.” Words of wisdom from Garry Marshall, ladies and gentlemen.
Deleted Scenes (9:03): Just more of the same, except for a few alternate endings where more justice is dispensed. Available with director commentary.
Gag Reel (7:17): There’s a few humorous moments in this rather in-depth gag reel, but then it veers in to an overdramatic retrospective montage at the end. Perhaps someone forgot that gag reels are supposed to be funny.
The Women of GEORGIA RULE (6:41): Hearing Jane Fonda talk about how great Lindsay Lohan’s acting is…well, it was the hardest I laughed at the movie.
On The Set with Garry Marshall (5:23): Marshall is a good director and a funny guy (both elements which come across in this feature), but he needs to find some better source material.
A Theatrical Trailer.
Extra Tidbit: GEORGIA RULE is famous for two things: 1) being the movie that Lindsay Lohan received a public letter from Morgan Creek president James G. Robinson admonishing her for being a “spoiled child” and 2) providing the world with those paparazzi shots of LiLo going down on some dude in a row boat.