Rumor Has It... (2005)
USA / English
"Based on a true rumor.
"Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for the book and film "The Graduate" -- and that she just might be the offspring of the well-documented event.
A Nutshell Review: Rumor Has It
Based on a true rumor, the premise of the movie was set up oh-so
perfectly, especially if you're a fan of Mike Nichols' 1967 Dustin
Hoffman-Anne Bancroft movie, The Graduate (with its immortal line
uttered again in this film). It's pretty creative to have that story
and characters intertwined with the narrative of this movie.
In this Jennifer Aniston vehicle (is it always that the wives of more
famous husbands get meatier roles when they break up?), she plays an
obituary writer (another fashionable job since Jude Law became one in
Closer) Sarah Huttinger, who's the fiancée of Jeff Daly (Mark Ruffalo).
However, she's commitment phobic and is getting cold feet each time
Jeff brings up marriage, and it doesn't help that they're attending her
sister's (Mena Suvari), therefore meeting her dad (Richard Jenkins) and
other relatives she can't get along with.
But rumor after rumor, and having realize that her deceased mother had
gone for a fling before her own marriage, Sarah begins an investigative
hunt into those (un)faithful days, and with probing for more
information from her grandma Katharine (Shirley MacLaine), she
discovers Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), the man whom Dustin Hoffman's
Ben was modeled after. So it goes that the writer of The Graduate,
Charles Webb, is a close friend of Beau, and the story is based loosely
on his dalliances with Katharine. Which also means, as Sarah discovers,
that the book and movie, is based on her family! But it gets better (or
is it worse?) as Sarah herself falls for Beau and has a one-night
stand, bringing to mind all the dirty, sick thoughts of possible
incest. The audience gets teased every now and then when you attempt to
piece together the possible relationships between the characters, and
it gets worse as we go along, until the final revelation at the end.
It's amazing too how you become glued to the story, despite its
simplicity in its themes.
Which is surprisingly not romantic relationship per se, which got
shoved to the sidelines, but that of commitment. It tries to examine
what makes people stick to each other, and what it takes to accept,
forgive, and find courage to move on. If you're bringing your date to
his movie, have the correct mindset - it's not just another simple date
movie, but one which sets both of you thinking. It's got some kick in
it too, all thanks to references to The Graduate movie.
Lifting this movie is again the veterans of Shirley MacLaine and
Richard Jenkins. MacLaine has played the grandma role to two sisters
earlier this year in In Her Shoes. However, this is not a simple rehash
of the role, as this one's a little more slapstick, a little more Mrs
Robinson, a little more caustic in language and character, but a lot
lot lesser screen time. Richard Jenkins too plays the familiar father
figure who stands by his daughters, ala his dad role in North Country
shown earlier. No doubt that their roles are small, but their
characters, all powerful.
Kevin Costner seems to be moving to making smaller movies. I won't say
that he's excellent in this movie, because it felt like it was a stroll
in the park. Having him falling for and romancing a younger woman in
Aniston, was similar to his role last year in The Upside of Anger. All
eyes though will be on Jennifer Aniston, as her character has certain
takes on relationships that cut a little close to her real life split
and how she moved on.
It's a movie which you think the trailers had revealed all, but trust
me, it delivered a lot more than what the trailers suggested. It's fun,
witty, and refreshing to a certain extent. Do give this movie a watch
if spoilt for choices from the Oscar contenders amongst the crowded
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