Rumor Has It (2005)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Screwball Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 25, 2005 (USA)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Australia , Canada , Germany , Mexico , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Rumor Has It... is about the statistical norm for a Jennifer Aniston vehicle: appealing enough to be worth a look, but weighted down by the sense that there should have been something more. And catching Rob Reiner amid a definite string of directorial failures doesn't help. Actually, it's a pretty good conceit for a film, even if it hast to ride the coattails of a Hollywood classic to generate its curiosity factor. In its own way, Rumor Has It... is joining the furious sequel trend of the early 21st century, which has paid famously little mind to how long it's been since the previous installment. But Reiner's film, from an original screenplay by Ted Griffin, is surprisingly honest about its intentions, making The Graduate an explicit reference point as a (semi-)fictionalized work, rather than just revisiting its characters as though they were real people. That's probably the right move; it's as hard to imagine Kevin Costner being the mid-fifties version of a young Dustin Hoffman as it is to stomach the story's central bit of ickiness, which never gets satisfactorily resolved. Namely, Aniston's Sarah Huttinger goes in search of Costner's Beau Burroughs, thinking it mathematically possible he's her father, and ends up romantically entangled with him way too soon after discovering he's not -- and with way too little evidence he's telling the truth. The fact that this comes at the expense of sweet-natured Mark Ruffalo, whose only crime is that he's not in the mood to join the mile-high club, just makes Aniston's character seem all the more mercenary. Shirley MacLaine spices up the cast, and there's a certain electricity to the players' interactions with each other. It's just that none of them earns any audience sympathy, particularly those with the most screen time.