February 19, 2006 -- “Rumor Has It” is a pleasant romantic comedy about Sarah Huttinger (played by Jennifer Aniston of “Bruce Almighty”), a Pasadena woman who discovers her family's story formed the basis of the book, and later the movie, “The Graduate.” She soon finds out that history is about to repeat itself.
Sarah goes off in search of Beau Burroughs (played by Kevin Kostner of “Open Range”) the man who supposedly had an affair with her mother and grandmother. This part of the back story is based on “The Graduate,” a watershed movie about a young man, confused about what to do with his life, who has an affair with his girlfriend's mother, Mrs. Robinson. Sarah wants to know if Beau is her real father. She ends up having an affair with him as well. Beau Briggs is still ruggedly handsome, and also very wealthy, which helps his chances.
Sarah now has to decide if she wants to follow through on her impending marriage to Jeff Daly (Mark Ruffalo of “Just Like Heaven”). At the same time, her younger sister, Annie Huttinger (Mena Suvari of “American Pie 2”) is having second thoughts about her recent marriage. She has a panic attack on her honeymoon plane trip and has to turn back. Both women have to decide what they want to do with their lives and their perturbed fiance and husband, respectively. The film features a good cast of actors and an interesting, if somewhat insubstantial story. Shirley McClaine turns in a fine performance as Mrs. Robinson. Richard Jenkins anchors the film as one of the few sensible characters in the cast, Sarah and Annie's father, Earl Huttinger. Kostner is perfect as the aging playboy who never really grew up. The film is capably directed by Rob Reiner and this might be his best film since “A Few Good Men.”
There are some good lines in the film, such as the oft-quoted one where Sarah tells her grandmother about her troubles and she invites her into the house with the line, “Come in. I'll put on a pot of bourbon.” Another has Sarah comforting her sister. Annie, alone talking to Sarah, says she feels like the most screwed up person in the world. Sarah replies, “You aren't even the most screwed up person in this room.” Another conversation has Beau replying to Sarah's statement that all women in her family are fated to have sex with him. “I don't know if they have to, but they certainly have,” Beau replies. The film has two levels, that of a screwball comedy and that of a melodrama. The comedy works, but the melodrama is a bit weak. This film rates a C+.
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