A song led me to this film. I fell in love with “Beautiful Disaster” by Jon McLaughlin after hearing it on his debut CD, Indiana. The song is haunting and insightful and it was a perfect pick for the soundtrack of Georgia Rule.
I won’t define this movie as a chick flick, a coming of age story or even a romantic comedy. This movie does not fit into a simple category. Garry Marshall took a beautifully written script and wove it into an onscreen story that is complicated, dark, humorous, heartbreaking and heartwarming. The best definition that I can give this movie is that it’s literature interpreted by moving pictures and sound.
Three women with three different relationships and one dark secret compel a plot that is filled with, while fictional, realistic conflicts and resolutions. The characters find themselves not only surprising each other, but their selves as well.
Jane Fonda is Georgia – the strong willed mother and grandmother who is convinced that right and wrong is always defined by a set of rules.
Felicity Huffman is Lilly – the daughter who fled a home that was filled with alcohol abuse and forced morality.
Lindsay Lohan is Rachel – the daughter and granddaughter who has not only bent most of the rules, but broken them beyond conceivable repair.
Lilly breaks her vow of never returning to her childhood home when Rachel’s impulsive behavior turns incorrigible. Lilly can no longer control her so she takes her to Idaho to the one woman she believes can handle Rachel – Lilly’s mother, Georgia.
Georgia believes that Rachel needs a few rules until she finds out that Rachel is not just trying to find herself, but that her behavior is linked to a truth she has confused with a lie.
Rachel is frustrated by both Lilly and Georgia and the small town atmosphere that seems to be closing in on her. She strikes out with the only thing she has left and that is telling the truth. Georgia’s rules begin to teach her understanding and compassion and her vulnerability brings a complicated reconciliation between her mother and grandmother.
This movie takes a very serious subject and makes it real. I struggled here to revise that last sentence, but it's the only way I can find to say it. This movie depicts a horrible secret that is, tragically and unfortunately, prevalent in our culture today. This film handles it very realistically. The characters show that in such adversity, there are times when you laugh, when you get angry, when you cry, and finally, a time when you begin to heal. Just like real life.
Georgia Rule shows us a story of people who can often be well meaning as well as mean, and that during revelations of the best kept terrible secrets, it’s possible to love and to be loved.
This is a movie you may want to watch more than once. I did. Several times, and I plan to add it to the front of my DVD collection.
It’s literary and compelling. The scenes are punctuated with the same truth as the characters are written, building on a background of small town America and values that can be mended no matter how hard they are shattered.
©2007 Morgan Creek
Directed by Garry Marshall
Produced by James G. Robinson
Written by Mark Andrus
The DVD has some great extras like: Deleted scenes, a gag reel, the making of Georgia Rule, the women of Georgia Rule, and an in-depth interview with Garry Marshall.
Oh, and watch the gag reel closely, you will get to see Penny Marshall.
Have a great week!