The Rumors are True

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2005

in Movie Reviews 

With a clever script, great performances, and some truly funny moments this is one film I’d recommend to anyone.  Jennifer Aniston finally finds the perfect leading role and Shirley MacLaine reminds us that she can still own the screen.

Rumor Has It…
4 Stars

What if you found out that a well known book and film were based off the real experiences of your family?  That’s what happens to Jennifer Aniston’s character as she realizes that, for her family, The Graduate may just have some added meaning.

Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston) is going through a crisis.  She’s unsure about her recent engagement to Jeff (Mark Ruffalo) and is traveling back home with him for her younger sister Anne’s (Mena Suvari) wedding.  All this anxiety is nothing compared to what will happen next.  A discussion with her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) and her mother’s best friend (Kathy Bates) lead her to believe that the book and movie The Graduate was written about her family.  She travels to San Francisco to find the man who romanced both her mother and grandmother, Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), looking for answers and wondering if this man could be her father and if not will she fall under the same spell as her mother and grandmother?

This is just a joy of a movie.  After a series of so-so projects, Jennifer Aniston finally finds the right leading role to showcase her talents.  She infuses Sarah with humor, wit, depth, and tenderness mixed with her perfect comic timing and even holds her own in scenes with MacLaine.  And Mena Suvari is delightful as her sister who “bounces”; with her supporting performances here and Domino she’s finally showing what she can do if given the right opportunities.

Let’s not forger Shirley MacLaine in an Oscar worthy performance as the spurned oldest woman of the clan.  With snappy dialogue and deft delivery she’s fabulous every second she appears on screen.

The film is carried by the female performances but I’ll stop a second to mention the men.  Costner as the aging playboy who it seems loved many members of this family is well cast in a relaxed middle-aged role that he has come to play so well in recent years.  Ruffalo and Richard Jenkins are caught in harder roles as they mostly have to play straight men to the madness of these women.  Jenkins comes off quite good here and Ruffalo is fine in his underwritten role as the fiance.

I’ve gotten this far without discussing the story itself which is both clever and funny; I don’t want to give away too much so I’ll leave it at that.  The idea of behind the film is truly inspired and well carried out by director Rob Reiner who strikes all the right notes in this enjoyable romp.

Well worth checking out, Rumor Has It… is a clever, fun, quirky little film that all can enjoy.  Rumor contains great performances by all the women (especially MacLaine) and is a delectable vehicle for Jennifer Aniston to truly shine.

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