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Rob Reiner
Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Mena Suvari, Richard Jenkins, Christopher McDonald, Steve Sandvoss
Writing Credits:
Ted Griffin

Based on a true rumor.

Jennifer Aniston portrays Sarah Huttinger, whose return home with her fiance convinces her that the sedate, proper, country-club lifestyle of her family isn't for her, and that maybe the Huttinger family isn't even hers. Join Sarah as she uncovers secrets that suggest the Huttingers are neither sedate nor proper - and as Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine and Mark Ruffalo join the fun. The story is rumor. The laughs are real!

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$7.515 million on 2815 screens.
Domestic Gross
$42.996 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $28.98
Release Date: 5/9/2006

• Trailers


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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Rumor Has It (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 25, 2006)

If Rob Reiner hoped that 2005’s Rumor Has It… would be a comeback commercial hit, he hoped in vein. Though the flick earned more than any Reiner film since 1995’s The American President, it’d be a mistake to see it as a success. Despite some decent star power in its cast, the flick limped to a lackluster $42 million gross.

Perhaps that’s because the movie is only sporadically entertaining. Rumor starts with a prologue set in the Sixties that hints at the reality behind The Graduate. We then leap to 1997 and meet Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston), a young woman struggling to figure out her own identity. She heads home to California for her younger sister Annie’s (Mena Suvari) wedding and takes her fiancé Jeff (Mark Ruffalo) home with her. However, she seems unsure about this relationship and doesn’t want to announce her engagement just yet.

Sarah’s visit home doesn’t help eliminate her general confusion. She feels she doesn’t fit with her family and questions if she’s truly related to them. This complicates during a discussion with her grandmother Katharine (Shirley MacLaine). During the chat, Sarah learns of her late mother Jocelyn’s pre-wedding jitters, and this leads to suspicions of an affair with Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner).

A follow-up with her mom’s best friend Mitzi (Kathy Bates) provides an enticing little fact: Beau was pals with Charles Webb, the author of The Graduate. This nugget along with the math related to her birth leads Sarah to jump to a series of conclusions: Jocelyn did it with Beau before she married her dad Earl (Richard Jenkins), Beau is her biological dad, and Katharine is the real Mrs. Robinson. Rumor follows Sarah’s attempts to find out the truth and come to terms with her own identity as well as romantic complications.

In addition to being a top-notch babe – and the world’s most famous jilted wife – Aniston has an awful lot of talent, especially as a comedic actor. Why does she find it so tough to land a decent project? If you look at her non-Friends résumé, you’ll find lots of chaff and virtually no wheat. Rumor doesn’t qualify as a bad flick, but it only occasionally lives up to its promise.

Honestly, the flick’s concept is the best thing about it. A story that reveals the facts behind The Graduate sounds fun, and it opens up many amusing possibilities – only a few of which Rumor actually explores. It sporadically ties in with its inspiration, but too much of the film proceeds as a fairly standard romantic comedy. There’s not a ton of cleverness on display here.

A lot of the trouble comes from the characters. For the first part of the film, they exist as little more than quip machines. They have a falseness about them, as if they live in Comedy Land and don’t connect with reality.

As Rumor progresses, it turns more dramatic and tries to make the personalities deeper. This doesn’t work due to the lightness of the prior moments. I’m not saying that films can’t pull off this change; I am saying that this film fails to succeed when it attempts to create more three-dimensional characters.

At least the actors give it their best. Aniston does little more than play a variation on Rachel here, though I can tell that her chops have improved over the years, as she shows greater impact in her dramatic bits than we ever saw on TV. The rest of the cast is just fine, and as I alluded earlier, we certainly find a nice roster of performers. Granted, MacLaine doesn’t actually act anymore; she just imposes her Grand Dame Diva will on parts and shoots for the campy comedy. That’s enough for this flick, I suppose.

But it’s not enough to allow Rumor Has It… to turn into anything memorable. The film wastes a clever premise as it slowly degenerates into a very average drama. It’s not so bad that I can claim it wastes its talent, but it sure doesn’t take advantage of its potential.

The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Rumor Has It… appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Most of the movie looked pretty solid, but I felt it displayed too many concerns for a brand-new flick to merit a grade much above average.

Sharpness usually seemed fine. A few interiors displayed slight softness, but those examples occurred infrequently. Instead, most of the shots came across as nicely distinctive and well defined. I noticed no concerns with jagged edges or shimmering, but some light edge enhancement appeared at times. Grain appeared heavier than expected for a flick from 2005, though no source flaws created distractions.

Colors presented fairly natural tones. These came across as a little on the pale side, but they seemed acceptably full. I suspect much of this was due to production design, but things simply came across as a bit thin. Black levels were reasonably deep and dense, and low-light shots were clear and appropriately visible. This was a watchable but unexceptional transfer.

Rumor Has It… offered a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that exemplified the minor charms of the “comedy mix”. Not much popped up in this quiet piece. The front channels heavily dominated the flick, and they only sporadically offered much life of their own. Music provided pretty good stereo imaging, and effects added general ambience. In regard to the surrounds, I suppose they added some light reinforcement of the music and effects. However, I felt hard-pressed to cite any examples where I noticed substantial audio from the rear. This was a subdued mix.

Although the scope of the track appeared bland, the quality of the audio was fine. Speech came across as concise and well defined. I discerned no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Music showed good range and dynamics, as the score was bright and distinct throughout the movie. Despite their small role in the presentation, effects also seemed clean and accurate. The mix featured acceptable bass response and clarity overall. It simply failed to ever present an engaging soundfield, so it earned only a lackluster “B-“.

Don’t expect much in the way of extras. In addition to the trailer for Rumor, the DVD opens with Previews for various Superman DVDs and the upcoming Superman Returns film, Just Friends and Friends. I know that Rumor didn’t light up the box office, but the almost complete absence of supplements nonetheless comes as a surprise.

Too bad Rumor Has It… doesn’t exceed expectations. It throws away an intriguing concept and ends up as a relentlessly mediocre combination of comedy and drama. The DVD offers lackluster picture and audio along with virtually no extras. Skip Rumor and watch The Graduate instead.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 6
0 3:
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