This movie should have come with a warning. It’s edgy, sexy, strong, and shocking. Definitely for mature audiences, even if just for Lindsay Lohan’s vulgar outfits.
Jane Fonda plays Georgia, head matriarch of the family, who lives in Idaho. Her wild daughter Lilly, played by Felicity Huffman in an excellent performance, lives in San Francisco and has an equally wild daughter, Rachel, played by Lohan. The three women butt heads throughout the film as only mothers and daughters can. Their mixed relationships with each other are shown in the background of Georgia’s house. These angry women and they are all very, very angry are forward and self-destructive. Georgia follows her own rules so much that she isolates her daughter, while Lilly’s alcoholism led her to marry a shark of a man, while Rachel is a teenager with secrets who looks for love and family through sex. The way the women deal with their inner angst is by clashing together.
The story primarily follows Rachel, and we are shown the other women as pertinent to her situation. Rachel has been dumped with her grandmother for the summer before she goes to college because she has crashed her car, hung out with the wrong people, and perpetually lies to her mother. Lilly’s mothering skills are called into question in the opening scene as she drives off without Rachel to the grandmother?s house. However, this abandonment shows Rachel’s knack for getting what she wants, as she essentially hijacks a ride into town with Simon (Dermot Mulroney), the town doctor and vet, and Lilly’s high school sweetheart. We see her sluttish ways right from the beginning, and the rest of the movie is pretty much learning about why she is the way she is. Rachel hits it off with Harlan (Garrett Hedlund), a local farm hand and devout Morman. However, the rest of the town pretty much hates her, which does allow for some comedy to creep into this family drama. The town girls, who are watching Harlon for his girlfriend, follow them around to make sure they don?t get too close for comfort. Rachel confronts them and threatens them with the only weapon she knows how to use: her body.
While this movie was worth the time spent in the theater, it took a few crazy turns to get where it wanted to go. There were some characters who were utterly unnecessary, although the casting people would say they added character to the town. However, having Hector Elizondo as a Russian rancher in two scenes does not add much, especially when he could have added more with his unique character. Laurie Metcalf was in one scene and never seen from again. Perhaps the deleted scenes for this movie would fill in some of the gaps. The main theme of this movie was trust, but the audience is asked to trust the situations and quick pacing a bit too much. Having Rachel stay with Simon suddenly was odd, and never really explained. This movie wanted to dive deep into the serious and painful situation it eventually uncovered, but the direction was weak. What was strong was the performances by all actors, underused or not.
This movie is in time for mother’s day, but I?m not sure I’d take my mother to see this. The women in front of me kept gasping and covering their mouths. It?s visually and emotionally scandalous.
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