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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Rumor Has It

Considering Jennifer Aniston's last year I'm surprised she would want to appear in anything with the title Rumor Has It, but maybe she is trying to tell us something. Last November she starred in Derailed, now it is Rumor Has It, and yesterday at the screening I attended was a trailer for her June 2nd release called The Break-Up. By Summmer she should be making My Impotent Ex Was The Pitts in Bed or something equally subtle like Bran(gelina) Gives Me The Runs.

I can't blame her. America's favorite friend has had a miserable year, and in Rumor Has It, now playing at the Essex Outlet Cinemas, she is still having man trouble, but of a different sort.

Jen plays Sarah Huttinger, a woman who is at a crossroads. The movie begins with Sarah and her fiancée Jeff Daley, played by the affable Mark Ruffalo, on their way from New York to Pasadena for Sarah's younger sister's wedding. Sarah wants to keep their engagement a secret, she says, so as not to take any attention away from the bride, but it is obvious (well, to everybody but Jeff) that Sarah is very, very nervous about the idea of marrying him.

Once in California, Sarah begins questioning her grandmother Katherine (scene stealer extraordinaire Shirley MacLaine) about her doubts and Katherine lets it slip that Sarah's late mother had them as well. She even ran away a week before her own wedding and hooked up in Mexico with her high school boyfriend Beau Burroughs. Through a series of events Sarah quickly learns that not only was this story the scandal of Pasadena, it was the basis of the book and movie The Graduate. Yes, Katherine, it turns out had seduced young Beau before Sarah's mother ran off to see him. She was the original "Mrs. Robinson." Apparently Beau had loose lips back then and shared his amorous adventures with his college roommate, who would go on to pen the book that recounted the whole thing.

More troubling than discovering that, however, is Sarah also realizing that her birthday and her parents' wedding date were only eight months and one week apart. She panics and begins to wonder if her biological father might actually be this Beau Burroughs. So as soon as her sister's wedding is over she sends Jeff back to New York and heads to San Francisco where she has tracked Beau down. When she meets him they immediately connect in a way she never thought would happen. Beau (Kevin Costner) sees memories of his lost love in Sarah and Sarah is swept away by Beau's charisma and sensitivity. No, he assures her, he is not her father. He is sterile and has been since a high school accident. That, and a few gin and tonics, is basically all it takes for Sarah to succumb to Beau's charms. Yes. Sarah becomes the third generation in the same family to sleep with the same guy. You just know Kevin Costner's ego needed its' own trailer during this shoot.

From here, the action twists through a series of confrontations, awkward moments, tender reconciliations, and sweet resolutions best left to be seen and not spoiled here.

This is the kind of movie I love. It has caustic wit with MacLaine, sweetness personified with Aniston, perfect boyfriend-ness with Ruffalo and just enough Kevin Costner to remind me that those fantasies from back when he was hot with Bull Durham and Dances With Wolves were best not acted upon then or now.

When the movie was over I went out to the lobby and talked for a minute or two with Nancy and Lan about the movie. It really is nice to have an alternative to the "big boys" of the season across the hall ~ Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, King Kong, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Sure, this is a chick flick. Nothing explodes, nobody gets gunned down, and no gigantic gorilla swings through (although Costner could use a good waxing, I'm guessing). Still, guys will like it. It does have Jennifer Aniston in various states of undress, and that should keep them quiet if nothing else. Who knows, they might even enjoy the story. I told Lan and Nancy that I sometimes wonder if the staff at the Essex Outlet Cinemas have these kind of dramas going on after-hours. They just laughed and exchanged knowing looks. Now if only I knew what that meant. I'm going to have to ask Austin, who also works at the Essex Outlet Cinemas. He is hard to track down as he moves quicker than The Flash, but for some reason I think he knows just about everything that's going on.

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