Georgia Rule had my curiosity piqued from the outset: Lindsay Lohan as a wildly rebellious, destructive, slutty brat? It was like the funny papers come to life! Having only seen her in Mean Girls, Lohan is mostly just a tabloid entity to me—one that, in this case, seemed particularly well cast.

When you're acting alongside heavyweights like Felicity Huffman and Jane Fonda, playing a character basically identical to your public persona is a conservative move. But in retrospect, some of Lohan's antics during Georgia Rule's filming (including her "discourteous, disrespectful, and unprofessional" behavior that led to a stern letter from the studio's CEO)... was it method acting?

Lohan plays Rachel, the impetuous, clever, 17-year-old daughter of recovering alcoholic Lilly (Huffman). Lilly and her highly successful attorney husband, Arnold (The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes, who did not, in fact, do "as we wished," and instead got really puffy) have thrown up their hands after Rachel's last stunt—drunkenly crashing her car—and are depositing her in small-town Idaho with her grandmother Georgia (Fonda), who's set up to be an intolerable nag with a laundry list of "Georgia rules"—but in actuality is, of course, a pretty frigging badass grandma.

Noticeably released to time with Mother's Day, Georgia Rule is the kind of trans-generational she-power film that's in order for the occasion (writer Mark Andrus' premiere credential for this is Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood). But it's better—and far darker and more complex—than the trailers would have you know. And while I'm not convinced Lohan had to reach too far to play this role, I can't think of anyone better for it.