She Says: ‘Rumor’ lacks substance |

She Says: ‘Rumor’ lacks substance

by Kimberly NicolettiSpecial to the Post Independent

Rumor has it that producers of Jennifer Aniston’s new movie relied too heavily on gimmicks.Actually, I’m starting that rumor, but with good reason. “Rumor Has It …” begins with an interesting idea: When Sarah (Aniston) discovers Mrs. Robinson of “The Graduate” may have been based on her family’s experience, she seeks out the real Benjamin Braddock to see if he’s her father.I hoped director Rob Reiner would infuse “Rumor Has It …” with the same kind of wit, chemistry and depth he put into such projects as “Stand By Me,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Princess Bride.” But he didn’t.The story line, though clever, remains flat. First of all, Sarah and her fiance, Jeff (Mark Ruffalo), aren’t convincing as lovers, so when another man enters the picture, the dynamic of rooting for true love to prevail never evolves. As a romantic comedy, it’s distant.Though Aniston adds warmth as Sarah, the character herself isn’t particularly compelling. She’s confused about marriage and her identity. Either one of these situations could create plenty of tension, but Sarah’s character doesn’t develop enough. In the end, her revelations are hum-drum rather than inspiring.Sarah’s grandmother seems to be the most intriguing character, but she’s left to a few smoking scenes and cute comments, such as “Let me put on a pot of bourbon.” Still, Shirley MacLaine fabulously portrays the sultry older woman fabulously.Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) ranks second in the most-interesting-character category, but, again, he remains stereotypical – save for an old sports injury.All in all, “Rumor Has It …” plays out much like gossip: It may entertain you for the moment, but overall, it lacks substance.

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