Rumor Has It...
Dir. Rob Reiner. 2005. PG-13. 96mins. Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine,
At the beginning of The Player, a writer pitches the ultimate in crass bad ideas: a sequel to The Graduate. While Rumor isn't technically a Graduate sequel, it plays on that movie's cred for a fairly bland romantic comedy about yet another gorgeous woman who agonizes about her love life for 90-plus minutes.
Flipping and fondling her hair with abandon, Aniston plays Sarah, a woman who has just accepted a marriage proposal from a nice guy (Ruffalo) but feels, you know, unsure (as shown by the way she runs her hand through her hair with uncertainty). Then Sarah finds out her family was the inspiration for the book and movie The Graduate, and she may be the daughter of the man who slept with her grandma (MacLaine) and her now-deceased mom. Sarah sets out to find the guy (Costner, surprisingly charming), who turns out to be a jet-setting Internet guru. Upon learning he isn't her father, she has a fling with him. Her nice-guy boyfriend, meanwhile, wonders just where she's gotten to. Which guy will she choose?
Leaving aside the ick factor, this turns out to be a remarkably conventional romantic comedy. Sarah hems, haws, and does exactly what we knew she would. No great harm has been done, except perhaps to the memory of a film that defied conventional answers.—Hank Sartin