Three noisy women and a worn-out premise rattle around trying to make contact in Georgia Rule, an incoherent dramedy of rampant parental insufficiency from director Garry Marshall. Rachel (Lindsay Lohan), a wild teen who has sinned and lied about it one time too many, is dispatched by her willfully myopic lush of a mother, Lilly (Felicity Huffman), to Idaho, where, it is hoped, she will undergo a character makeover at the hand of her rule-bound grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda) and a town full of smiling Mormons preaching premarital virginity and other red-state virtues. Notwithstanding her frequent invocation of the Almighty, Georgia gives as good as she gets, exhorting her grandchild to go fuck herself and stuffing soap into the child's mouth as needed. (The best that can be said for Fonda's role is that it is marginally less gruesome than the manipulative maternal virago she played two years ago in Monster-in-Law.) Once the family skeleton marches out of its closet and the therapeutic blather sets in, there's almost no rescuing this wobbly movie from its showdowns and insights. Except, that is, when Lohan's around. Even with that well-documented freak-out on the set of Georgia Rule, Lohan remains a self-possessed, vitally carnal, and intelligent screen presence.
Lohan as the diva our times deserve.
Opens at Guild 45 and other theaters, Fri., May 11. Rated R. 113 minutes.