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Movie Review - Rumor Has It with Jennifer Aniston (2005)

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Background

Rumor has it that any film that stars Jennifer Aniston has got to be good.  She is a magnet for her fans.  The problem is that she is so incredibly talented and beautiful that you always see Jennifer up on the screen and not the character she is playing.  It may be that she is just herself in every movie she makes.

                                                 

Jennifer Aniston

                                                           Jennifer Aniston - Wikimedia

Introduction

In “Rumor Has It,” Jennifer plays the part of Sarah Huttinger, a wanna-be journalist whose present position is writing the obituaries and wedding announcements for the New York City newspaper that employs her.  Sarah has just become engaged to her boyfriend Jeff Daly (Mark Ruffalo), who is a young and successful attorney.  Since she and Jeff were flying to Pasadena, California to attend Sarah’s sister Annie’s wedding to her tennis partner, Scott, Sarah did not want to upstage Annie, so she preferred not to mention their engagement to her family.  Jeff could go along with that.

“The Graduate”

It had long been rumored in Pasadena that Charlie Webb, the author of the novel “The Graduate,” based his story on actual persons who lived in Pasadena.  Methinks that the many blurbs about the movie protest too much that it is just a rumor that the events surrounding “The Graduate” really happened and the people involved are long gone.  However, the story behind it all makes for great gossip and it is all laid bare in “Rumor Has It.”

                                      

Kevin Costner

                                                           Kevin Costner - Wikimedia

The Pasadena Rumor

Sarah’s family, the Huttingers, had always heard the story that Sarah’s mother Jocelyn, who has since passed away, went to Mexico three days before her wedding to Earl Huttinger (Richard Jenkins), and had an affair with Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), just as Mrs. Robinson did in “The Graduate.”  Charlie Webb happened to be a classmate of the rogue in question, and revealed also that Beau Burroughs had a one-night stand with Jocelyn’s mother, who of course was Sarah’s grandmother Katherine Richelieu (Shirley MacLaine).  When Sarah’s fiancé Jeff heard about the Mexico caper, he pointed out to Sarah that her parents were married only eight months before they had Sarah, and that perhaps she had been conceived in Mexico.  This really threw Sarah for a loop, and she needed to know the truth.  She never felt as though she fit in with her family who were tennis-playing aficionados with entirely different interests than Sarah had.

At the wedding, Sarah had a long talk with her grandmother and also her Aunt Mitsy, both of whom were aware of Jocelyn’s trip to Mexico before her wedding.

Sarah Tracks Down Beau Burroughs

After Annie’s wedding, Sarah did not return to New York City with Jeff, but instead hunted down Beau Burroughs, a millionaire who had cashed in on the internet industry.  She tracked down Beau at his home base in San Francisco where he was giving a talk on the revolutionary Che Gueverra at a prestigious hotel.  She told him she was Jocelyn Richelieu’s daughter, and of course he remembered Jocelyn well.

                                                           

Mark Ruffalo

                                                              Mark Ruffalo - Wikimedia

Beau Claims to be Sterile

During their conversation, Sarah asked him point-blank if he had an affair with her mother in Mexico because she sensed that he might very well be her father.  Beau claimed that he was sterile and had been for 39 years so that he could not be her father.  When she pressed him further, he related that he was a goalie on his soccer team and was kicked during a game which gave him a blunt testicular trauma.  He could not have fathered Sarah.

Beau’s Visit from Jocelyn

Beau gave more details of Jocelyn’s visit.  He said that his parents had a house in Mexico and Jocelyn showed up unexpectedly.  They had a history together in high school.  He said it was the happiest three days of his life, and that Jocelyn was a beautiful woman, just as Sarah was.  He said he woke up one morning and Jocelyn was gone.  He didn’t even know that she was engaged.  He admitted also that he had a one-night stand back in the day with Sarah’s grandmother.

Beau Asks Sarah to Stay On

Apparently, Sarah and Beau shared a bed that evening.  She was planning to leave the next day, but Beau asked her to attend a charity event that evening with him, and he would fly her back to New York in his private plane.  Of course, she agreed.

Sarah Meets Beau’s Son Blake

At the ball that evening, two men asked to speak to Beau about a lucrative financial prospect, and he had to excuse himself for several minutes.  A young good-looking man sat down at her table, claiming that it was his father’s table.  He explained that his father was Beau Burroughs.  The young man’s name was Blake.  Beau returned and introduced the two to each other.  When Beau and Sarah were alone again, she glared at him, needing an explanation.  Beau explained truthfully that his wife had wanted a child, and knowing that he was sterile, she arranged to have a donor; the result was Blake.

                                         

Shirley MacLaine

                                                          Shirley MacLaine - Wikimedia

Jeff Arrives Frantically in San Francisco

Jeff had been trying to contact Sarah for several days.  She was not answering her phone.  He showed up in San Francisco.  When Sarah related to Jeff that she had spent a night with Beau, Jeff left for New York.

Beau and Earl Played Soccer Against Each Other

After Sarah left for New York, Beau Burroughs showed up at her house and took a tongue-lashing from Sarah’s grandmother.  Sarah introduced Beau to her father, Earl.  Earl, of course, knew of Beau, and remembered that he played soccer against Beau when they were in high school.  He also remembered that he had hit Beau in the groin with the soccer ball, and told him it was a hell of a save.  That was all the confirmation that Sarah needed.

Earl and Sarah Had a Talk

When Beau left, Sarah and her father had a nice talk.  She asked her father why her mother returned from Mexico if she liked Beau enough to seek him out in Mexico.  Earl said “She came back because she loved me.  She knew she could build a life with me.”  He also confided that the night she came back home from Mexico was the night that Sarah was conceived.  It was lucky that they were married the next week.

                                                                

Wedding Rings

                                                                         Wikimedia

Sarah Goes to Jeff

Sarah went to Jeff’s apartment to tell him that she loved him.  Initially, he did not want to listen to her.  He was so hurt.  She left, sensing that their affair was over and done with.  When she took the elevator down to the first floor, he was waiting breathlessly for her there.  They were married two weeks later.

 

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The Graduate
Amazon Price: $16.00 $3.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)
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