My wife and I rented Rumor Has It a couple days ago. It's a 2005 film directed by Rob Reiner, starring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner. I knew it'd be a date movie and I actually like a bunch of those . . . but not this one. It wasn't as bad as Failure to Launch (one of the worst movies of all time in our opinion), but it was close. I expected better from Rob Reiner, known for such good movies as A Few Good Men, Misery, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, and more.
Here's the premise (if you can follow it!): Supposedly, the events in the famous movie from the 1960's, The Graduate, really happened. So Kevin Costner plays Beau Burroughs who, unbeknownst to almost all the human race, happens to be the Dustin Hoffman character in The Graduate. Shirley MacLaine plays Katherine Richelieu, the Mrs. Robinson character, who as you know seduced the Dustin Hoffman character. Mrs. Robinson's daughter - who also had a fling with the Dustin Hoffman character - died of cancer or something a few years ago but HER daughter Sarah Huttinger, played by Jennifer Aniston, the granddaughter of the Mrs. Robinson character, figures out that both her mother and her grandmother had affairs with the Dustin Hoffman character. So she tracks down Beau Burroughs, thinking that maybe he's her father, and ends up sleeping with him. The whole time she's "in love" with Jeff Daly, played by Mark Ruffalo, who hasn't had an affair with anyone and who, when he finds all this out, acts very hurt and sad but eventually gets his girl back. Uh-oh, I just spoiled the movie for you.
Besides this unbelievable story line, every actor except for Shirley MacLaine plays his or her role with hardly any emotion at all - especially Costner, unquestionably one of the worst most-admired actors around.
There is little redemption in this movie. People are valued merely for their looks and their money. The Mark Ruffalo character for a while stands up for integrity but ends up selling out. Women come off looking especially bad, as they let men use them and don't respect themselves enough to see through their advances to the lust beneath. Men use women for pleasure and status.
The movie does illustrate a Biblical truth, however. Patterns of thinking and behaving are generally perpetuated in a family from one generation to another. God punishes "the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation" of those who hate Him (Exodus 20:5). Unless grace intervenes (and because of the gospel it can and does), children generally adopt the sinful propensities and coping strategies of their parents. Sadly, the women in Rumor Has It are looking for the father who never really loved them, and sex is their means of getting him. Men are looking for someone who will let them off the hook morally so they never really have to be men. It all smells of Eden after the Fall.