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Nov 6, 2022

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Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman, and Jane Fonda star as three generations of a dysfunctional Idaho family in GEORGIA RULE, a decidedly secular and genuinely bizarre film that uses Mormon social culture as a backdrop for a fish-out-of-water story where a troubled city girl named Rachel (portrayed by Lohan) is sent to live with her country grandmother for the summer. Rachel feels like an outsider in her new town, and her attempts at being extremely sexually forward with any of the men who are nice to her earns her an army of slut-shaming haters who watch her every move on binoculars, or following her with their cars. But this sexually precocious behavior from a seventeen-year-old character is clearly coming from a traumatized place. When Rachel confesses to the town veterinarian about her repeated childhood rapes by her stepfather, the vet dutifully informs Rachel’s family, but drama starts when Rachel repeatedly takes back the accusations, and then takes her denial back again multiple times so viewers are in a constant state of suspense about who the monster is in this movie. Although there is something that seems very real about the character of Rachel constantly flip-flopping on how to cope with her own rape, this constant giving and taking back of very serious allegations is an unparalleled act of psychic terrorism to the first-time viewer trying to keep up with the story. This juxtaposition of the horrifying plot with the idyllic, quirky small-town setting adds to the level of surrealness that makes GEORGIA RULE a harrowing watch that could at first glance be mistaken for a fluffy “Hallmark”-type movie. This quality, plus the film’s fair and balanced meditation on Mormon cultural values, make GEORGIA RULE a film we’ve been looking forward to talking about on the show for ages.

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