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PCR # 372  (Vol. 8, No. 19)  This edition is for the week of May 7--13, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Georgia Rule"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region -- Part Three  by William Moriaty
"Georgia Rule"  by Mike Smith
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Maybe They Should Ban Fried Foods, Too....Do You Hear What I Hear....Movie News....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 19: Judge Reinhold  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman and Dermot Mulroney
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 53 mins

Here's the plot, see if you can guess the film: A daughter who feels unloved drops a teenager off at her mother's secluded house and takes off to have some fun. Anyone? Here's another hint: Jane Fonda is in the film. If you just shouted out "On Golden Pond," go to the back of the class, because the answer is "Georgia Rule." Though in all fairness, "Georgia Rule" has so much in common with "On Golden Pond" that all that's missing is Kate Hepburn dottering on and calling someone an "old pooh."

We meet the mother/daughter team of Lilly (Huffman) and Rachel (Lohan) as they bicker on the way to visit Grandma Georgia (Fonda) in Idaho. Lilly is frustrated with Rachel and feels some time alone with Georgia is just what the girl needs to straighten herself out before she heads off to Vassar. Of course, Georgia and Rachel hit it off like oil and water, with Georgia's strict timetables and habits coming under fire almost as soon as Rachel is through the front door. Whenever she questions anything, Rachel is told "Georgia Rule," which is a nice way of saying "because I said so." In her tight jeans and short skirts, Rachel sticks out in town worse then Ren McCormick did in "Footloose." Georgia has gotten Rachel a job working for Simon (Mulroney), the town vet who moonlights as an MD to the townspeople. Simon used to date Rachel's mom and, like most people in a small town, has a secret in his past. Rachel also meets the strapping young Harland (Garrett Hedlund), a Mormon teen preparing to leave on a two year missionary trip. Things go well until Rachel, used to getting her own way, discloses a secret that may or may not be true.

With her work last year in the ensemble film "Bobby," Lohan proved she was more then just the cute freckle faced girl from "The Parent Trap." In "Georgia Rule" she starts out on shaky ground but as the film progresses her performance gets much stronger, thanks in part to Fonda and Huffman, whose work seems to have made Lohan work harder. Fonda, who unbelievably turns 70 this year, is a screen legend while Huffman in the past two years has won an Emmy and been nominated for an Oscar. Their scenes together are quite reminiscent of the mother/daughter love-hate relationship in "Terms of Endearment." Mulroney does a good job conveying the many emotions his character endures while Cary Elwes seems to have inherited another smarmy guy role that used to go to James Spader. As in his past films, director Marshall has cast his smaller characters perfectly. Always nice to see Paul Williams on screen and it wouldn't be a Garry Marshall film without an appearance by Hector Elizondo. Dubbed by Marshall his "good luck charm," this is the 14th film by Marshall that Elizondo has appeared in. The script, by "As Good As It Gets" co-Oscar nominee Mark Andrus, gives an inside look at small town America, where "proper" ladies wash out liquor bottles before hiding them in their trash and everyone turns out for the local 4th of July picnic.

A film that starts slowly but gets in stride by the end, "Georgia Rule" is a fine alternate to the spiders, pirates and ogres that will soon be filling the multiplexes. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Georgia Rule"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Georgia Rule" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.