Movie Review: Rumor Has It… (2005)
“Based on a true rumor.”
Rumor Has It… (2005)
Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, Shirley MacLaine
Synopsis: A woman believes she might be the product of a relationship that inspired the book and movie The Graduate.
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Here’s a good idea for a movie: a young woman discovers that the characters in The Graduate are based on her mother and grandmother and an internet entrepreneur – in the days before most people had even heard of the internet – and she fears that she may be the product of her mother’s brief encounter with the Benjamin Bratt character (here named Beau Burroughs) whom her mother then left for the man she left at the altar.
It’s a neat idea, but this misguided rom-com doesn’t really know what to do with it once the initial premise is laid down. The woman (Jennifer Aniston – ‘Til There Was You, We’re the Millers) tracks down Burroughs after the film establishes she has a loving fiancée in Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me), and after establishing that Burroughs isn’t in fact, her father, promptly gets drunk and sleeps with him. How many movies, I wonder, would never have been made if alcohol had never been invented? It’s certainly proved a boon to writers stuck for a way forward. Anyway, of course the boyfriend learns of her infidelity and our heroine has to face up to the realities of life.
Presumably writer Ted Griffin determined from the outset that Aniston’s character would re-live the experiences of her mother in order to learn the same life truths that she did. However, this means that in order to get her into bed with Burroughs (ably played by Kevin Costner – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Criminal) he has to fashion a script that quite frankly lacks plausibility in all departments and drags badly halfway through.
Rumor Has It… is pleasant enough, and all the characters are likable – even Burroughs, despite owning monogrammed pillow cases. It’s not difficult to see why Ruffalo is so enamoured of Aniston’s character, and Aniston gives her a warmth and sense of fun that is attractive. I certainly wouldn’t raise even the mild objections Ruffalo does if she invited me into the loo at 35,000 feet. Ruffalo makes a decent enough supporting man, and he seems to be much in demand these days in this type of nonsense, but you could never really see him carrying a movie. Shirley MacLaine (The Apartment, Bernie) once again plays a sassy granny – and bags all the best lines.
(Reviewed 11th January 2012)