There is nothing better than finding out your family history is the basis of a book and movie especially when it’s a salacious one. That would be the premise, and pretty ingenious one, for Rumor Has It… The movie follows Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun) as she slowly starts to realize that her mother and grandmother were the people who inspired The Graduate. Throwing a bigger wrinkle into her life is the possible that the real life Dustin Hoffman character could be her father.
The dude in question is Kevin Costner (Waterworld) who plays the real life graduate even though he never did but as he tells it The Dropout wasn’t as catchy. Shirley McLaine (Cannonball Run II) is the matriarch and first female in the family to bed Costner. Then there is Mark Ruffalo, who has been in almost forty films but has yet to be memorable in one, as Aniston’s fiancée who puts up with her cold feet and search for her possible father because, well, he looks like Mark Ruffalo and she looks like Jennifer Aniston. Rounding out the cast is my hero, Shooter McGavin himself as one of Costner’s business buddies.
Even though the plot is a clever one, the film sinks in its delivery which seems to be a theme in the last couple movies I’ve seen. It is like the producers, which this film actually had ten of including Ocean’s 11 duo of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, get a topic that they feel could write itself. But in this film, the laugh are far and few in between or beat to death. The funniest bits come when they reference the film especially when Aniston wonder why she wasn’t told of her family secret to which Ruffalo sing “But most of all you got to hide it from the kids.” But not all The Graduate reference are great as it sometimes felt as if you needed to just see the film to get the joke, which I haven’t in more than a decade. Another sticking point with the film was Aniston in full Rachel Green mode not getting the memo that this was a film and not a sitcom. Her overacting got old quicker as her show did (for those keeping track at home, that would be sometime around the second season).
Rumor Has It… gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.