Deseret Morning News, Friday, May 18, 2007
Films portray Mormons in an ugly light
By Chris Hicks
Deseret Morning News
Having been warned by a number of reviews that the new film "Georgia Rule" treats Mormons less than kindly, I went into the theater prepared.
Lindsay Lohan stars as a troubled teen forced to stay with her strict grandmother (Jane Fonda) in a repressive Idaho town, which is largely populated by Mormons.
There, she seduces a young man who is about to go on his mission, and they are taunted by the locals, who are portrayed as less-than-Christian nincompoops.
To be fair, it should be noted that "Georgia Rule" doesn't abound with sympathetic characters.
Fonda comes off as tolerant of the Mormons but rather hypocritical in her own thinking — she won't stand for the Lord's name to be taken in vain, and even forces two characters to put soap in their mouths, but she also thinks nothing of dropping the F-bomb.
Her daughter, Lohan's mother (Felicity Huffman), is an alcoholic with her own self-esteem issues. And in one notable scene, she's nearly nude in Fonda's front yard in front of young children.
And the film shifts from broad comedy to soap opera, trivializing the tragedy of child sexual abuse when it's revealed that Lohan's stepfather may be a predator.
So I guess the Mormons could be worse. As it is, they are simply caricatures designed for easy jokes and general disdain.
After performing a sex act with the soon-to-be missionary, Lohan says she had kind of hoped he'd be the first guy to say no to her.
Me too. That certainly would have changed the texture of the Mormon characters. Instead, the lad is racked with guilt until he apologizes to his girlfriend at BYU-Idaho. Then he's ready to go on that mission. Which, um, I'm pretty sure isn't how it works.