STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $28.98
RUNNING TIME: 97 Minutes

The Pitch

Turns out Dustin Hoffman is Kevin Costner, Anne Bancroft is Shirley MacLaine and Jennifer Aniston is screwed up.

The Humans

Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Christopher MacDonald, Mena Suvari.

"Uh, Jen, what are you reaching for?"

The Nutshell

Aniston plays Sarah Huttinger, a woman who has anxieties about going home for her sister’s wedding. Accompanying her is her fiancée, Jeff (Ruffalo), to whom Sarah confesses that she always gets anxious when she goes home. She doesn’t identify with any member of her family, not her father, nor sister, nor her late mother, whom she’s never really understood. At the wedding dinner, Sarah runs into her grandmother, Katharine (MacLaine), a chain smoking, cynical old broad who seems to be the only one with whom Sarah even remotely connects. Circumstances soon lead Sarah to discover that a week before her mother got married, she ran away to Mexico for a fling with an unidentified man and that the timing of that fling and of Sarah’s birth ultimately leads her to conclude that the man her mother saw might be Sarah’s real father. What’s worse, the man who wrote The Graduate was a friend of both of theirs and their fling was the inspiration for the book. This also means that Katharine was Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin Braddock was Beau Burroughs, the man who may or may not be Sarah’s father. When Sarah goes to San Francisco meet Burroughs and to find out the truth, the answers she gets take her on a path that’s all too similar to her mother’s.

Rumor had it that I really needed to see this shot from another angle…supposedly…

The Lowdown

Rumor Has It… is dressed up like a standard chick flick, but it doesn’t slip into all of the clichés that one tends to expect from those kinds of movies. The female bonding is kept to a minimum, there are no overly sappy nor emotional moments and nobody dies of breast cancer. Aniston carries the entire movie fairly well, although there’s plenty of Rachel in Sarah. But I didn’t spend the movie wishing I were watching something else. Costner is also good and plays a much more laid back character than I’m used to seeing him do. MacLaine likewise channels Anne Bancroft circa 1967 as a jaded matriarch who has to come to terms with her past with Beau while trying to be there for Sarah during her problems, which she’s really not good at. Mena Suvari has slid a long way since she’s starred in every American movie to come along in the last decade (Pie, Beauty, Virgin) and does her own channeling of Paris Hilton by way of Reese Witherspoon in her character. Christopher MacDonald is pretty much wasted in a small role and Kathy Bates also makes a cameo.

Rumor was written by and was almost directed by Ted Griffin, who wrote Matchstick Men and Ocean’s 11, and while this story doesn’t have the complexity of those films, he keeps the narrative going pretty well, even throwing in the possibility of a little incest along the way, which is always fun. Griffin was replaced by Rob Reiner, who could direct this film in his sleep, coma even. This wasn’t anywhere in the same league as Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, nor A Few Good Men, but it was, what we call in the South, affable, which is strange considering I’m not really from the South and actually I’m currently way out West. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot better than Rumor but I’ve also seen much worse. Much much much worse. If you’ve got to sit through a chick flick with your chick, this is definitely one of the more tolerable ones.

"So it turns out that we both slept with Kevin Costner?"
"Yeah, but when I did it it was 1863 and he was a Union soldier and I was Harriet Tubman…"

The Package

The video looks fine in 1.85:1 and the audio is the standard Dolby 5.1, and that’s fine as this isn’t really the type of movie that needs a booming sound system. As for extras, well rumor has it that there’s a trailer and that’s it.

6.4 out of 10