Rumor Has It . . .
Despite having a talented cast, director, and writer and a creative premise going for it, director Rob Reiner’s romantic comedy Rumor Has It . . . never builds up enough steam to be anything more than a mild diversion. The movie gets off to a good start, as Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston) and her devoted fiancé (Mark Ruffalo) arrive in Pasadena, Calif., for her bubbly younger sister’s (Mena Suvari) wedding. Sarah has never fit in with her family, thus it comes as both a shock and a relief when she learns that Charles Webb’s novel The Graduate was based on her family, and that it was her mom and grandmother (a scene-stealing Shirley MacLaine) who became entangled with the same young man, one Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner). The catch is her mother stayed with her fiancé, but only after running away to Cabo for one last fling with Beau, and Sarah may the fruit of another man’s loins. Except she’s not—TV commercials have already released that spoiler—and Beau turns out to be a wealthy slab of beefcake. Once any pesky concerns about incest are dispatched, Beau and Sarah quickly embark on an unlikely, bumpy, and quite creepy fling. The only thing more unsettling than how quick and perfunctory it all plays out is how sleazy Costner comes across as a guy who’s handily and happily boffed an entire root system on one family tree. Reiner looks to be on autopilot, as his trademark snap and knack for satire are both absent. Hide this one from the kids, Mrs. Robinson.