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Rumour Has It - Review

Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner in Rumour Has It

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical Trailer; Audio Described.

ROB Reiner attempts to seduce audiences with his latest rom-com by basing it around a Hollywood myth – that the premise for The Graduate was actually based on a real-life family living in Pasadena.

Yet the forgettable date movie that ensues is so painfully contrived and unfunny that audiences will wonder how the premise ever managed to graduate from the page in the first place.

Jennifer Aniston stars as Sarah Huttinger, a very confused young lady whose impending marriage to Mark Ruffalo’s dashing fianc√© prompts a serious bout of identity crisis.

Why, for instance, does she not look like her father, identify with her family, or feel overly enthused about her wedding?

When she discovers that her late mother slipped off to Mexico for a romantic getaway with a suave romeo named Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) just one week before she married her father (Richard Jenkins), Sarah convinces herself that she needs to know more.

Yet her subsequent journey of discovery lands her in more trouble than she could ever have envisaged. For starters, Beau slept with both her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) and mother and stands no biological chance of being her father.

And to make matters worse, Sarah finds herself falling for Beau’s roguish charm, inevitably placing her own marriage under threat into the bargain.

So far, so utterly contrived. Yet far from being endearing, the film simply grates especially since Aniston’s lead character is so selfish and annoying.

The actress seems to have compiled the worst aspects of her Friends persona and packed them into a role so utterly self-obsessed that the only sympathy worth having is for the lives of the men she ruins as a result.

Costner provides an engaging presence as the ageing playboy yet shares no chemistry whatsoever with Aniston, while Ruffalo deserves far better in a thankless role that seems to slap him repeatedly in the face for daring to be decent.

The only humour comes from the sly one-liners that MacLaine’s over-hysterical grandmother delivers with relish – but even such a quality actress seems muted by such an unbelievable screenplay.

According to rumour, this star-studded rom-com only saw the light of day when Reiner stepped in as a favour to Warner Bros when first-time director Ted Griffin bailed on the project.

But by then the damage was done. This is a tedious effort that sends out the wrong message and takes a perverse delight in rewarding infidelity.

If Aniston continues to headline films as ill-conceived as this, then it won’t be long before she’s in need of her Friends again.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 96mins