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Jennifer Aniston plays Sarah Huttinger, a journalist about to get
married to her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo) when she's called back to
Pasadena for her sister's wedding. There, she meets millionaire playboy
Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) who had relations with both her mother
and grandmother, an incident that might have influenced the '60s movie
"Rumor Has It" is a lackluster film from Jennifer Aniston that fails to take advantage of its interesting premise. The movie had all the right ingredients to be an entertaining ride. Good cast, good director, engaging premise and a talented screenwriter. So, what went wrong? Rob Reiner tried to make a character driven dramedy that just didn't work. The film was not very funny and they recycled the same jokes over and over again. How many jokes about Pasadena can you have in the first twenty minutes? Apparently not enough for Mr. Reiner. The more serious scenes were deathly dull and this has a lot to do with the fact that all the characters were unlikable and uninteresting. The actors all appeared bored on screen and only one person gave a good performance.
Shirley MacLaine gives an engaging and funny performance as Katherine. She saves the movie completely though she doesn't get a lot of screen time. Jennifer Anniston was pretty bland, nothing special from her. That is two flops in a row for her with this and Derailed. Mark Ruffalo was okay, again nothing special. Mena Suvari gave a decent performance but doesn't get a lot of screen time. Kevin Costner was a complete dud. His performance was very mundane and he shared zero chemistry with everyone on screen.
The appeal between Costner and Aniston seemed force and there was nothing interesting about it at all. The scenes with Aniston and Ruffalo were much better and seemed more real. The family aspects of the movie were okay. There were a few engaging scenes like the bedroom scene between Aniston and Suvari. Those two played sisters and their conversation about their mother was nice to watch. Still, they weren't as good as Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette from "In Her Shoes". The ending was expected and a little unbelievable actually. I still don't understand why he took Sarah back considering she cheated on him and her speech seemed really force. In the end, "Rumor Has It" is simply a weak film that's not really worth watching. Rating 5/10
I walked out of "Fun With Dick and Jane" fuming. I went into this other "comedy" and I stayed. I even laughed a couple of times and smiled a great deal, thanks , mostly, to Shirley MacLaine. The idea was fun, to meet the real characters that inspired "The Graduate" and, in fact, the best moment is the confrontation between Mrs. Robinson (Shirley MacLaine) and Benjamin (Kevin Costner) There is a lavish party and some spectacular travelogues of Northern California but Jennifer Aniston, my dear, take a sabbatical. She was so good in "The Good Girl" But here, a sub Rachel infuriating thing. What's with her mouth? She twitches and bites her lips and represses her smiles and it's dizzying and annoying and anti-comedy. Look at Shirley MacLaine for goodness sake! Has Jennifer Aniston seen "The Apartment"? I know I'm not making much sense but it's not my fault. I blame Rob Reiner really and his scriptwriters and his producers. How many jokes can you make about Pasadena? Please guys, listen to Shirley.
About halfway into the film, a few peripheral characters begin
discussing movies, classic movies--Chinatown, Casablanca, the Graduate.
One asks, "why don't movies like this get made anymore?" An ironic
question indeed for a film that is 8 billion light years away from even
hoping to be in the company of such films and spends the entirety of
its screen time ripping off (poorly) classic films. I'd rather they
re-release truly original, inspired films like the ones they mar than
throw them in a blender and see what hodge-podge comes out.
Jennifer Aniston deserves a nod for flailing discreetly in the wimpy script and for acting like she even wanted to stand near Kevin Cosner, who has all the sexual magnetism of a dry flounder.
The movie-- if it does anything-- does one thing, it proves Shirley McClain's got it and she can fake it even when given a bad script. I give it a 3 because I laughed at least twice, Shirley McClain gets a point for sauciness, and the final point for the studio that had the audacity to have a love connection between a girl and someone who not 5 minutes before she thought was her father--wowzer.
Skip it. Rent the graduate. Rent Casablanca. Make Hollywood give us better films.
Rumour has it that 'Rumor Has It' is a pretty good film. This will by
no means be an Oscar contender, but as a pleasant diversion on a
weekend afternoon, or possibly as a date movie (for those who still go
on dates), this could be a winning movie. Jennifer Aniston, late of
'Friends', plays a role that is in many ways reminiscent of the Rachel
role - she is a transplanted New Yorker, returning home to L.A.
(actually, Pasadena, which becomes a running joke) with her
as-yet-unannounced fiancé to attend her younger sister's wedding. We
learn all of this in the first few minutes, possibly before the credits
are done scrolling on the screen - the frenetic pace of 'Friends' is
Rumour has it that there was a family in Pasadena that the film 'The Graduate' is based upon - Sarah (Anniston) fixates upon the idea that this may be her family. She questions her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine, but don't call her grandmother), who tells of a possible affair her mother had with a playboy before her marriage (Kevin Costner, now a dot-com mega-millionaire). Sarah goes off without her fiancé in search of her mother's past, but finds a past of her own, of a sort.
Lots of twists and turns in the film have the characters racing up and down the coast of California in search of the past, the future, and the truth, which ends up being both expected and unexpected in this complicated but easily-followed plot.
There aren't major effects and major surprises here. The situational comedy is very much in keeping with an extended version of a comfortable television show, even with the star power of MacLaine and Costner backing Anniston up. The writing is serviceable with occasional flashes of true wit, and the pace of the film is even and pleasant. In all, this is a good film, well worth seeing for a bit of entertainment. Director Rob Reiner does have a talent for good films, and this is one of them.
The truth about "Rumor" - it stinks.
How could a film with such an enticing premise and talented cast go so horribly awry?
When I first heard the idea for "Rumor Has It...," I thought what an interesting concept: A newly-engaged young woman, Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston), comes to Pasadena, Calif., for her sister Annie's (Mena Suvari) wedding and realizes her family was the inspiration for Charles Webb's novel, "The Graduate," which Mike Nichols turned into a landmark film in 1967.
In addition to Aniston and Suvari, you toss in Shirley MacLaine (as the potential Mrs. Robinson), Mark Ruffalo, Richard Jenkins, Kathy Bates and, of course, Kevin Costner (as Benjamin Braddock all grown up).
So why does "Rumor Has It..." stink?
Because it just isn't funny. It's flat, tepid, utterly devoid of even the slightest hint of humor.
I've no idea whether this is because writer Ted Griffin was fired as director and Rob Reiner, who hasn't made a good film in ages, was brought in to direct. Honestly, I thought Reiner hit his nadir in 1999 with "The Story of Us." But then he followed that four years later with the execrable "Alex & Emmma." Surely, that was his nadir. Nope. Apparently, he could sink lower and he proves it with "Rumor Has It..." Beau Burroughs is the kind of role Costner should revel in. Yet, he's completely dull. There's no sparkle in Costner's performance, the glint in his eye is gone. Compare this rotten turn with his wonderful performance in "The Upside of Anger" (2005) and you'll realize how brilliant he could have been.
Aniston tries incredibly hard to salvage something out of her lead role. But - and I don't know whether this is Griffin's fault because I've no idea how much of his script wound up in the final cut - poor Sarah gets nothing funny to say and even fewer funny things to do. As far as Reiner seems to be concerned, this is a serious role. The talented Ruffalo gets a thankless role as Sarah's woeful fiancé, Jeff; and Suvari turns up in a role that is completely unnecessary. Why is Anna even in this picture other than to give Sarah a reason to come to Pasadena? MacLaine gives yet another performance we expect from her in a role that she can now play in her sleep. This time it's the boozy, yet no-nonsense, grandmother. Blink and you'll miss Bates.
The film's only believable character is Earl Huttinger, Sarah's dad, played superbly by Jenkins. There doesn't seem anything fake about Jenkins' performance - then again, there never is - and the scene between Earl and Sarah in the kitchen is the film's only highlight. You never doubt for an instant that Earl is a man who deeply loves his children.
It's a shame that "Rumor Has It..." turned into such a fiasco. It only goes to prove that even a bright concept and talented cast can't automatically save a lousy movie.
It was fun. This has been panned by many, but heck, it's not supposed to be Shakespeare. It has a great cast -- Shirley McLaine and Kevin Costner have a great scene together. I liked Jennifer Aniston -- especially in the blue dress. Mark Ruffalo was the nice guy. I laughed a lot. It wasn't all fluff, either. I thought the characters grew a little. Jennifer and her sister and father grew closer. I think if you saw the original The Graduate, this movie might be more interesting to you. There were some great shots of Pasadena and the California coast. Definitely is a chick-flick. I went with a girl friend of mine and we both enjoyed it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was predisposed to like this movie: A good cast and an accomplished director. Unfortunately, there was also a terrible script, bad pacing, poor editing and, except for Shirley MacLaine, not very good acting and very few laughs. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. A complete waste of my time and money. I know this observation has been made elsewhere. but Rob Reiner should make a choice between full time movie making and full time political activism, because he clearly cannot do both at the same time. The problems with the movie became apparent in the first few moments during the airplane sequence. There was no chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and Mark Rufalo, and while that may have worked to emphasize the point that she was reluctant to get married, it also meant that the viewer had no rooting interest in seeing them get together in the end, although true to romantic comedy form, that ending was bound to happen. Frankly, the dull, humorless beginning was the real foreshadowing of the entire movie, which was also humorless and dull. The film only picked up its pace on the few occasions when MacLaine was on screen. She could have been giving a masters class in acting to her fellow cast members, but obviously they weren't paying attention, The real bottom line is that while there was a kernel of a good idea in this update of The Graduate, the script was unfunny and the characters were unsympathetic.
'Rumor Has It' pretty much has all the technical ingredients: Good actors, interesting premise (a girl trying to find herself), excellent cinematography, breathtaking shots of America and a nice score. However, it's let down by the writing and direction. For a comedy, it's not so funny. Many of the jokes fall flat. For a drama, it just doesn't engage and a lot of it looks forced. The movie derails every now and then and the whole 'romantic' angle between Costner's Beau and Aniston's Sarah feels icky and looks unconvincing. Jennifer Aniston is in a confused Rachel Green mode (except here her character is not likable and she's a little too whiny). Mark Ruffalo does a decent job as the supportive boyfriend and shares a good chemistry with Aniston. Their scenes in the beginning are quite fun to watch. It's just the last scene that was a little less believable as Jeff seems to have forgiven Sarah too easily. Kevin Costner seems sleazy (when the character wasn't really meant to appear that way) and he and Aniston seem to lack chemistry. Mena Suvari has a pointless and thankless role. The last scene between her and Aniston just seemed ...well, forced. However, it is Shirley MacLaine who delivers the best performance. She provides all the laugh out loud moments but her role is too small to be the saving grace. Simply put, 'Rumor Has It' is a weak and confused film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sarah (Anniston) is engaged to be married to Jeff (Ruffalo) but while
attending her sister's wedding she discovers that her late mother may
have had an affair with Beau Burroughs (Costner) one week before her
(mother's) wedding. Sarah wonders if Burroughs is her real father.
After a couple clumsy, non-funny attempts at humor (Sarah and Jeff attempt sex in an airplane bathroom; Sarah's father has a silly game to hold one's breath while driving thru tunnels), the movie yawns to the opening. The only time I laughed was when Sarah's father feints kicking Beau in the family jewels as he really did in a high school game when they were kids. Other than that, there was no humor in here. So much for comedy. No good lines either although Sarah's grandmother, Shirley MacLane, does try.
One would think that with all the star power available, the script would have more punch in it. Jennifer Anniston must have a face coach. She grimaces, twists and contorts her face way too much as if to convey the real meaning of her actions just in case you miss them. But, the face moves aside she does an acceptable job as do the rest of the cast. There is just nothing anyone can do with this script. It should have been better. And, let's face it, Costner cannot Dance with Chick Flicks. Yawn
Based on a true rumor, the premise of the movie was set up oh-so
perfectly, especially if you're a fan of Mike Nichols' 1967 Dustin
Hoffman-Anne Bancroft movie, The Graduate (with its immortal line
uttered again in this film). It's pretty creative to have that story
and characters intertwined with the narrative of this movie.
In this Jennifer Aniston vehicle (is it always that the wives of more famous husbands get meatier roles when they break up?), she plays an obituary writer (another fashionable job since Jude Law became one in Closer) Sarah Huttinger, who's the fiancée of Jeff Daly (Mark Ruffalo). However, she's commitment phobic and is getting cold feet each time Jeff brings up marriage, and it doesn't help that they're attending her sister's (Mena Suvari), therefore meeting her dad (Richard Jenkins) and other relatives she can't get along with.
But rumor after rumor, and having realize that her deceased mother had gone for a fling before her own marriage, Sarah begins an investigative hunt into those (un)faithful days, and with probing for more information from her grandma Katharine (Shirley MacLaine), she discovers Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), the man whom Dustin Hoffman's Ben was modeled after. So it goes that the writer of The Graduate, Charles Webb, is a close friend of Beau, and the story is based loosely on his dalliances with Katharine. Which also means, as Sarah discovers, that the book and movie, is based on her family! But it gets better (or is it worse?) as Sarah herself falls for Beau and has a one-night stand, bringing to mind all the dirty, sick thoughts of possible incest. The audience gets teased every now and then when you attempt to piece together the possible relationships between the characters, and it gets worse as we go along, until the final revelation at the end. It's amazing too how you become glued to the story, despite its simplicity in its themes.
Which is surprisingly not romantic relationship per se, which got shoved to the sidelines, but that of commitment. It tries to examine what makes people stick to each other, and what it takes to accept, forgive, and find courage to move on. If you're bringing your date to his movie, have the correct mindset - it's not just another simple date movie, but one which sets both of you thinking. It's got some kick in it too, all thanks to references to The Graduate movie.
Lifting this movie is again the veterans of Shirley MacLaine and Richard Jenkins. MacLaine has played the grandma role to two sisters earlier this year in In Her Shoes. However, this is not a simple rehash of the role, as this one's a little more slapstick, a little more Mrs Robinson, a little more caustic in language and character, but a lot lot lesser screen time. Richard Jenkins too plays the familiar father figure who stands by his daughters, ala his dad role in North Country shown earlier. No doubt that their roles are small, but their characters, all powerful.
Kevin Costner seems to be moving to making smaller movies. I won't say that he's excellent in this movie, because it felt like it was a stroll in the park. Having him falling for and romancing a younger woman in Aniston, was similar to his role last year in The Upside of Anger. All eyes though will be on Jennifer Aniston, as her character has certain takes on relationships that cut a little close to her real life split and how she moved on.
It's a movie which you think the trailers had revealed all, but trust me, it delivered a lot more than what the trailers suggested. It's fun, witty, and refreshing to a certain extent. Do give this movie a watch if spoilt for choices from the Oscar contenders amongst the crowded theater schedules.
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