A sequel to the Graduate, so Rumor Has It...
Having returned home with her fiancé for her sister's wedding, Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) starts to doubt whether she really is her father's daughter, especially when she discovers that her mother and her grand mother both had relations with the same man, which turns out was the basis of the book and film "The Graduate". Desperate to discover the truth she goes in search of the man, Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) who may be her father.
I first heard about "Rumor Has It..." a couple of months before its cinematic release and with a star studded cast which includes Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Costner, Mark Ruffalo and Shirley MacLaine as well as having Rob Reiner at the helm I thought it may have a chance of standing out in the crowded romantic-comedy genre. Sadly it didn't live up to my expectations, and whilst it is far from being the worst movie to have graced the big screen, it is just another average romantic comedy. And this is a great shame as the premise of using the brilliant "The Graduate" as inspiration for a new story lends itself to a huge amount of scope, sadly hugely under worked in "Rumor Has It...".
To be honest the actual plot to "Rumor Has It..." is pretty good and throws up a few twists; some expected some not, which keeps you interested on what the outcome maybe, but then you can guess the outcome pretty much from the start. Ignoring the predictability, the attempt at extending the story of "The Graduate" to now encounter a third generation of the same family is indeed very clever and is probably the movie's saving grace. But at the same time, it lacks the intelligence and punch of the original and that is mainly down to this trying to be a modern romantic-comedy. This issue is caused by it struggling to decide what it really wants to be, is it a comedy, a romance or a drama, in fact it is a bit of each but the blend fails to work.
What that means is that at times the comedy is masterful, with Mark Ruffalo putting across some great dead pan one liners, but then a lot of the time the comedy is pitiful and so generic that the jokes seem to have been used throughout numerous other movies and have a bit of the yawn factor about them. The romance, well to be honest what romance, there is no chemistry between any of the stars and the actual romantic element of the plot is seriously under worked, leaving me feeling empty to the feelings of any of the pivotal characters. Then there is the drama, and again "Rumor Has It..." provides some that actually works leaving me wondering as to what will happen, but then a lot of the drama feels like it has been thrown in as padding to try and make more of a plot which in my opinion really needed some serious re-writing. This Jack of all trades master of none approach leaves the movie wanting of one real direction. But despite this it is still watch able and actually grows on you the more times you watch it.
One of my concerns when I saw that Jennifer Aniston was playing the lead was whether this would be yet another movie which suffered the curse of "Friends", but thankfully Aniston manages to put in a performance rather than relying on romantic comedy generics. The character of Sarah herself is pretty undefined and all we really learn is that she has a fiancé, she differs to the rest of her family in what she likes and is a little bit head strong, other than that the character really has no history. But in the case of this film it doesn't really give us a problem as the way Aniston brings the character to life is much more than is expected.
But as mentioned earlier there is a huge problem, that being the lack of chemistry and everyone, including Aniston, seems to be playing their characters in isolation of everyone around them. The same can be said of Kevin Costner who despite this issue proves that he can act in a role other than action hero as he does a reasonable job in this "romantic" role. Where my issues occur is in the performance of Mark Ruffalo as Jeff, Sarah's fiancé, who really doesn't seem to put his heart into it. His acting comes across as wooden and his delivery of lines is at times so monotone, especially in moments of drama, but then for a lot of the movie his character is not the focus. But he really is the only major weak link in the movie which also sees Shirley MacLaine and Richard Jenkins putting in enjoyable performances.
What this all boils down to is that "Rumor Has It..." possibly could have been one of the best romantic-comedies of recent years but it failed to really deliver. It really struggles to decide what it wants to be which causes it to fail to achieve anything more than being just another average rom-com. Saying that, it is watch able despite the problems with an under worked plot, and lack of chemistry between the stars.