Lindsay Lohan plays the character of Rachel. She has a fight with her mom Lilly (played by Felicity Huffman) and tells her she is now out of her mom's life while they are on a empty road in the middle of Idaho. Rachel walks down the road, in the middle of nowhere, as her mom drives away in the car. Rachel takes a nap, in the shade, under a billboard sign, which just off the road but still in plain view from cars passing by. A guy named Harlon Wilson (played by Garrett Hedlund), in an old truck, stops to see if she is alive. He touches her. She wakes up screaming. Another man, Simon (played by Dermot Mulroney), drives up, right afterwards in a nice Mustang car. He stops to see if Harlon is having car troubles. Rachel tells Simon she had a similar car until she crashed it. She gets in Simon's car without asking permission and says “Let's go.” She flirts with him. He says he is only going as far as Hull, Idaho. Rachel says this is also where she is going.
Rachel's mother Lilly arrives at the home of her mother (Rachel's grandmother) Georgia (played by Jane Fonda). Georgia takes care of two boys while their moms are at work. The boys are Sam (played by Dylan McLaughlin) and Ethan (played by Zachary Gordon). Lilly has not seen her mother for 12 years. They do not get along at all. Lilly stays for only a few minutes. Lilly thanks Georgia for taking the granddaughter for the summer and say she hopes it does her some good.
Simon drops Rachel off. She says he must be gay because he did not look, even once, when she had her legs raised in the car. Rachel shows up at her grandmother's house acting like a bitch demanding food and warning her grandmother she will not be able to jerk her around. Her grandmother tells her to “Go F* yourself” obviously not going to put up with any of Rachel's nonsense. They trade barbs with each other. Rachel says the only reason she is staying there is because her step-father promised to buy her a new car if she spent the summer with her grandmother. Rachel's grandmother explains “Georgia Rule” to her. Georgia tells Rachel she has to follow the rules to live there, and this includes working.
Rachel goes for a walk in the small town. She looks completely out of place. Everyone says good morning to her as she walks by. She runs into Harlon. She flirts with him. He tells her, he already has a girl. Rachel goes to her new job and it is with the same guy Simon, the one who gave her a ride. Simon is the local animal doctor. He is a veterinarian, but he also treats people unofficially.
Rachel fights with one of the kids in the front yard. Georgia stops the fight by spraying them with the hose. Georgia forces Rachel to wash her mouth with soap for taking the Lord's name in vain. The neighbors watch them. Rachel learns from Simon's sister, when she asks is he “queer”, that Simon lost his wife and son a short time ago and he is not gay.
The town has a Fourth-of-July party. Simon and Rachel exchange comments about who would be good for the other one. Simon asks Rachel not to go after Harlon, because it will ruin Harlon. Rachel has a heart-to-heart talk with Simon about surviving. She says, in a brutal way, he needs to come to terms with the fact that his wife is dead and his kid is dead. Then she says he has to just get over it. She tells him she was molested at the age of twelve by her step-father. She challenges him to survive, like she does, and not be so sad doing it.
Rachel and Harlon go fishing. Harlon is going to leave soon on a mission for the Mormon church for two years and he confesses he is a virgin. Rachel takes off her panties and shows the her vagina to him and let's him touch her. Then she performs oral sex on him. Rachel goes back to see Simon to apologize. She expects him to be upset. He simply says his wife and child are dead and it shows on him. Rachel tells him she made up the sexual molestation story for sympathy and it was all a lie. Simon tells her he took it seriously and already talked to her grandmother about it. Rachel gets furious with him. When Rachel gets back to her grandmother's house, Georgia is there waiting up for her. She asks Rachel if her step-father molested her. Rachel says if he did, he would be dead, then goes to her room. Georgia, who has amazing perception of the truth, knows Rachel is lying. Georgia calls her daughter Lilly to tell her about the molestation.
Harlon comes to the house to confess his indiscretion with Rachel, to Georgia and asks Rachel to marry him in front of Georgia. Harlon demands Rachel go with him to speak with his girlfriend June (played by Chelsea Swain) together so he can apologize to June. Harlon takes Rachel to the Mormon university. June is singing in the choir on the steps of the school. They interrupt her. Rachel says they only kissed and it was her fault. Harlon confesses the full truth about the oral sex to June. Harlon agrees with June not to see Rachel again. Harlon explains the deal to Rachel. Rachel tells Harlon, he is her only friend. Lilly is there at Georgia´s house, having immediately driven there when hearing about the molestation, waiting up for Rachel to come home. She demands Rachel tell the truth. Rachel tells Lilly she was not molested in such descriptive ways it is obvious she really was molested. Georgia overhears them fighting. Georgia comforts Rachel. The next morning, Rachel finds Lilly in front of the house sleeping in the car. She tells Lilly the molestation did occur. She even crashed her car because her step-father gave her the car so he could continue the molestation. Georgia and Lilly talk about getting even with her husband Arnold (played by Cary Elwes).
Rachel is at Simon's house. They talk about the past and how Simon once dated Rachel's mother Lilly. Lilly gets drunk. Lilly falls and cuts herself. Both Rachel and Georgia get Lilly put to bed. The Mormons are constantly spying on Rachel to make sure she does not see Harlon. They call her a slut as they drive by. Lilly wakes up and wants booze. Lilly and Georgia fight in the front yard. One of the kids sprays them with the hose to stop the fight. Lilly asks her husband for a divorce by telephone and then has a break-down. Rachel goes to stay with Simon. Rachel gets too friendly with Simon which makes him uncomfortable.
Lilly and Georgia have a mother-daughter talk about the past, and whether her mother loves her. Lilly says she never heard her mother tell her she loves her. Georgia says how could she not love her. Lilly stops drinking. Georgia throws the booze out the window. Harlon asks Rachel out. Harlon and Rachel go fishing. The Mormons spy on them. Harlon asks Rachel if she could love him. Rachel says she is giving up men. Rachel sees the Mormon girls watching them and taking snapshots. She chases the girls down with Harlon's truck and tells them if they don't stop harassing her and Harlon, she will have sex with all their boyfriends.
Lilly goes to see Simon. She asks him to get her “Antibuse” to help her stop drinking. Simon and Lilly still have a thing for each other and they kiss passionately.
Arnold shows up at Georgia´s house begging his wife to come back to him. He says Rachel is lying about what happened. Rachel storms off. Arnold is a smooth-talking criminal defense attorney. He makes a convincing argument Rachel is lying just like she lied about using drugs or stealing or drinking and driving. Georgia attacks him with a bat and throws him off the property. She forces him to put soap in his mouth for taking the Lord's name in vain. Arnold meets with Lilly in the coffee shop. He is convincing when he says he did not molest Rachel. Arnold also says he wants to help Lilly to go to rehab. Lilly is conflicted. She does not know what to believe. She goes to see Rachel. She tells Rachel she believes her and none of this is Rachel's fault. Lilly tells Rachel, that Arnold is not even angry. Rachel confesses she lied. Lilly is shocked. Lilly goes back to be with her husband Arnold at the local motel. Rachel makes dinner for Simon. Lilly calls Rachel inviting her to come to Georgia´s house to talk. Knowing Arnold is alone, Rachel goes to the motel room where Arnold is staying. She blackmails him for $10 million. She tells him she has a tape of the sexual molestation with Arnold. All Rachel wants is for Arnold to keep his mother happy. If Arnold does this, she wants nothing from him but if he fails to keep her mother happy Rachel will go through with the blackmail.
Rachel gets in bed with Simon. He jumps out. Simon does not want to have sex with Rachel ever. Simon knows Rachel cannot tell the difference between truth and lies. Rachel tells Simon thanks for being the first man in her life to say no to having sex with her.
Arnold comes to pick up Lilly. Georgia tells Arnold she knows the truth. Georgia tries to keep Lilly from going. Georgia tells Arnold if her daughter did not love him, she would kill him for what he has done. Rachel is not there to say good bye. Georgia goes to get Rachel. Georgia insists they press criminal charges against Arnold. Harlon, Simon, Georgia, and Rachel chase after Arnold and Lilly. Arnold tells Lilly he is giving Rachel his Ferrari. It is such an odd thing to do , for a man who claims to be innocent, Lilly realizes the real truth. Lilly forces him to stop the car. They have a huge fight. Arnold throws her luggage in the road. Arnold confesses to Lilly the molestation did happen, but claims Rachel seduced him. Lilly yells at him she will put him in jail for what he has done. Arnold drives off abandoning Lilly. Lilly walks back down the road. She sees her daughter and her mom have come to her rescue. Lilly and Rachel hug. Harlon, Simon and Georgia look on. Harlon tells Georgia, he loves her granddaughter and after he gets back from his two year Mormon mission, he intends to marry Rachel.
Best part of story, including ending:
This story is a great contrast between small-town Midwestern values and big city life.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene in the fishing boat when Rachel learns Harlon is a virgin and shows he private parts to him. His reaction as a innocent Mormon boy to this is hilarious.
Opinion about the main character:
Rachel is really a lost soul and needs a lot of professional counseling and help. The film ends with us feeling hopeful the three generations of women, can help each other.