The 52 Worst Films of the 2000s

Movies You Aught Not Watch: Rumor Has It …

Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“Rumor Has It …”
Rated PG-13

A romantic comedy with all the excitement of an AARP magazine cover story, 2005’s “Rumor Has It …” is filled with electrons, not a positive charge around for miles.

This sort-of sequel to “The Graduate” represented Rob Reiner’s low point in a directorial descent from must-see to must-flee.

Yes, Reiner took over at the 11th hour for writer Ted Griffin, unceremoniously booted shortly after filming began. But not only does Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston’s stilted, predatory, creepy romance make one long for “When Harry Met Sally,” it makes one willing to bleed for even the forgettable “Alex and Emma.”

When a writer (Aniston, lower lip quivering on demand, but unconvincingly) learns her family may have inspired “The Graduate,” she seeks out entrepreneur Beau Burroughs (Costner), the ersatz Ben Braddock. Will he complete the grandma-mom-daughter trifecta, no matter how disquieting it gets?

Their fling is meant to be instructional, but it’s simply icky, with brief incestuous panic that’s a cheat six times over. (Never so often has the term “blunt testicular trauma” been invoked as a punchline.)

Shirley MacLaine (as the would-be Mrs. Robinson) and Mark Ruffalo (as Aniston’s stuffed-shirt fiancé) wring the two feeble laughs “Rumor” musters. In lieu of requisitely snappy screwball pep, there’s musty Nellie McKay songs, soundstage sterility and the utterly bogus circumstance that, in 1997, Costner would be 55 and MacLaine 77.

Given talk of infertility, let it be said “Rumor” is a series of rocky places in which comedy’s seed can find no purchase.

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9 Responses to “Movies You Aught Not Watch: Rumor Has It …”

  1. Courtney Hime says:

    I can see that the movie has it’s pitfalls, but aren’t all movies about movies usually pretty bad compared to the original. Granted this movie was about a movie and a book, but still. Loved Ruffalo in this. He’s a charmer as is, but he plays a supporting role very well. He was a better ‘leading’ role in 13 Going On 30 and I’m intrigued to see how he fairs as ‘The Hulk.’

    Aniston doesn’t do movies well if she’s the lead. I hate to say it as an avid ‘Friends’ Fan but she’s not a great lead.

  2. gwinjay says:

    I didnt like Shirley in this movie or the end but other than that it was not really a bad movie

  3. misgie says:

    I saw this movie, I liked it

  4. Jen Barnette says:

    Jennifer Aniston? Kevin Costner? Yummy! How could you go wrong with this combination? I agree with most of the movies on the do not watch list, but this movie is a great romantic comedy with an adult twist.

  5. Nick Rogers says:

    Alisa: I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for reading!

    Kate: I think they’ve each been able to recover from this, too. Thanks for reading!

    Michael: Thank you very much for the kind compliments, and thanks for reading!

    Beth: As I always say, I’m glad when people enjoy any movie after spending their time and money on it. Regardless of our disagreement on the quality of this one, I’m glad you commented. Thanks for reading!

  6. Beth Brault says:

    Guess I will be the dissenting comment… I liked the movie.

  7. Michael Donley says:

    AGREED! Great review…sarcasm is an art. Congrats Sir.

  8. Kate Greven says:

    Too bad about Aniston & Costner – I like them both. I’ll be sure to skip this bomb & remember each fondly for their finer work…

  9. Sometimes sequels should not be made. And this one is one of them.