Rumor Has It... (2005)
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Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Richard Jenkins, Christopher McDonald, Steve Sandvoss, Mena Suvari, Mike Vogel, Frank Novak, Terrie Snell, Jenny Wade, Googy Gress, Rolando Molina, Jaime Ray Newman, Gabriel Jarret, Clyde Kusatsu, Mike Baldridge, Paul Ganus, Leigh French, George Gerdes, Lyman Ward, Jordan Lund, Kathy Bates, Joan M. Blair, Colleen Camp, Robert Foreman, George Hamilton, Rob Lanza, Mary Anne McGarry, Marcia Ann Burrs, Lisa Vachon, Trevor Stock, Jennifer Bini Taylor, Lynn Wanlass
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|Movie Review by Tony |
May 31st, 2006
The great Roger Ebert said that any film that ends with three dots such as ... is never a good film. This was proved correct in late 2005 with the dreadful "comedy" WAITING ..., and is once again proved accurate with Rob Reiner's embarrassingly bad comedy RUMOR HAS IT. Rob Reiner is the biggest hit and miss director in Hollywood. He has had hits with A FEW GOOD MEN and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, and some misses with STORY OF US and NORTH. He is truly a director where you walk in and you'll either see an amazing piece of cinema, or the opposite of an amazing piece of cinema, cinematic crap.
Jennifer Aniston stars as Sarah Huttington, who has been recently proposed to by Jeff Daly (Mark Ruffalo) and is on her way home to Pasadena for a family wedding for her sister (Mena Suvari). Aniston wonders why she looks like no one in her family, does not act like anyone in her family, and is so different from them all. Her concerns are put to the test when she discovers the possibility that her family was the inspiration for the hit film and book THE GRADUATE. So this brings up a whole hell of a lot of questions for young Sarah.
Did her deceased mother and her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) have sex with the same man Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner)? Is her father (Richard Jenkins) not her real father? Is she making the right choice marrying Ruffalo? All of these questions are bogging her down and causing her to act in an over the top and neuritic matter. I don't have as many questions as Sarah, but I have only have one question: who cares?
This film reminded me of how sometimes they'll show on TV failed sitcoms that didn't get picked up by the network, or only had one pilot. This seemed like the plot-line for a really, really bad sitcom. THE GRADUATE, while a classic, came out almost 4 decades ago, so why make a film about this possible dilemma NOW? It just does not make any sense. I know Hollywood loves remakes, or things based on book, but why take this little thing and turn into something totally out of left field? My only guess is the obvious one: Hollywood is literally out of ideas.
Aniston who seems like a nice person, is not a good actress in my eyes. There is an old adage, the key to acting is to not make people think you are truly acting. You make it look natural. With Aniston, I always KNOW she is acting and trying too hard. Shirley MacLaine is also given a rather shallow and one note role, which is disappointing, as she is one of Hollywood's great older actresses alive today. Costner, Jenkins, and Ruffalo are the best of the bunch here, as they are way too good for this light weight comedy. It was almost as if they came from another movie.
A MUCH better comedy/drama came out in late 2005, which also featured Shirley MacLaine, it was entitled IN HER SHOES. It made my top 3 of the best films of 2005. It featured moments of truth, honesty, sensitivity, and the all too well known family dynamic. It was equal in laughs and tears and never once did you feel like you were tricked. It genuinely touched you and left you with a smile on your face. Director Curtis Hanson decided to use the story and the truth of the screenplay to shine through.
With RUMOR HAS IT, they took a much lazier approach. They used the all too common in Hollywood sitcom approach. Have characters acting zany and saying look at me, look at how goofy I am, look how neuritic and eccentric I am. Have characters repeat one liners that do not sound for one second like something anyone would say, since it's so contrively written. Then tack on a cheesy tear jerking ending and all is well.
Just remember everyone, you have a choice, you have a choice to take the easy way out, or the choice to take your time, let your actors act, and let it be real and feel real.
RUMOR HAS IT there was a good movie somewhere waiting to come out, but this is not it.
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