We compare 'Rumor Has It' to 'The Graduate' -- Can the derivative movie hold its own against a classic?

By Ty Burr
Updated May 05, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

We compare ‘Rumor Has It’ to ‘The Graduate’

Rumor Has It is hitched to local gossip that counterculture classic The Graduate was based on a real family. Tip: Watch the new movie first; you’ll need the Mike Nichols original to clear the bad taste from your mouth.


Rumor Has It (2005)
A woman (Jennifer Aniston) realizes her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) may have been the model for Mrs. Robinson — so does that mean gram’s former lover (Kevin Costner) eventually became the heroine’s biological dad? And if not, is it okay to sleep with him? A decent cast trips over the dreadful screenplay: Aniston realizes halfway through that her character makes no flipping sense, and Mark Ruffalo dies a thousand deaths as her fiancé. Only MacLaine has fun mimicking Anne Bancroft’s liquored-up Pasadena lockjaw. D+


The Graduate (1967)
Now we’re talking. From the early shot of a numbed Dustin Hoffman gliding along an airport walkway to Simon and Garfunkel’s ”The Sound of Silence,” we’re in good hands. The hit ages like wine and should speak just as eloquently to disaffected grads in the 21st century. The last third may drag a bit — ”Scarborough Fair” is a pretty song, but four times is once too many?but try not weeping as the late Bancroft finds layers of pain beneath her man-eating adultress, and that penultimate shot is just plain remorseless. A-

Rumor Has It

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 96 minutes
  • Rob Reiner