Rumour Has It (2005)
The first time I heard of Rob Reiner's "Rumour Has It" was a few months before it hit the big screen and with a cast featuring the likes of Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine and Mark Ruffalo I thought it may stand a chance of being an interesting romantic comedy. Especially as it uses the premise of "The Graduate" as part of the storyline. But sadly whilst an amusing, occasionally charming movie "Rumour Has It" fails to live up to expectations and ends up being rather average.
Returning home for her sister's wedding, Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) begins to notice that she is not like her sister and wonders if she really is her father's daughter. Her concerns over her parents become all the more apparent when she learns the both her grandmother and mother had a relationship with the same man and were in fact the inspiration for the book and movie "The Graduate". Determined to discover the truth Sarah sets about tracking down this man Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) who may in fact be her father.
The whole interlinking with "The Graduate" is actually quite inspired, throwing up some amusing ideas especially if you've watched the iconic 60s movie. But then it wastes so much opportunity to be a clever romantic comedy resorting to modern standards when it comes to the storyline, rehashing plot lines which are part and parcel of nearly any modern romantic comedy. Part of the issue is that it's cant' decide what it wants to be, a charming romantic tale or a comedy, flicking between each yet never blending them to provide both in a pleasant, even handed manner.
When the focus of "Rumour Has It" is on providing laughs it sort of works with Mark Ruffalo delivering dead pan comedy brilliantly as Sarah's boyfriend. But when the comedy is dished out to others it starts to suffer with almost generic comedy moments and scenes thrown in to generate laughs but rarely achieving it. And as for when "Rumour Has It" tries to deliver any form of romance it struggles because again it's not overly original and suffers from a lack of chemistry between the stars. But the blending of both just fails often jarring as one moment it's try to be romantically sweet the next amusing.
What is interesting is the storyline naturally lends itself to some drama as Sarah tries to discover the truth about whom her father is and to give credit where it's due "Rumour Has It" does keep you sort of guessing. The trouble is that a lot of those moments of pseudo drama end up suffering because they are padded out, stretched to a point where they become a little tedious. It does achieve one things and that is stops "Rumour Has It" being just an out and out run of the mill romantic comedy.
As for the performances well Jennifer Aniston isn't terrible as Sarah, obviously attractive and manages to deliver a few fun moments in-between a lot of lame fun moments but the trouble is that the chemistry with the other characters just isn’t right. With Kevin Costner who turns on plenty of charm as Beau Burroughs there is something standoffish about the chemistry between them and the same with Mark Ruffalo as her boyfriend Jeff. The best performance comes from old timer Shirley MacLaine who shows her years of experience by being the only one who manages to get the right balance of comedy and drama from her character as Katharine Richelieu.
All in all "Rumour Has It" is entertaining with some predictable comedy, romance and a touch of drama but it all feels a waste of a good idea. The interlinking with the iconic "The Graduate" lead me to hope for an equally witty comedy but all it delivered was on par with many other modern romantic comedies. It will entertain, you probably will laugh a few times but you will also probably struggle to remember that much about it a few days later.
Title: Rumour Has It
Length: 93 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Richard Jenkins, Christopher McDonald, Steve Sandvoss, Mena Suvari, Mike Vogel