Making the Grades
In 1967 The Graduate released in movie theaters and sparked the careers of actors Dustin Hoffman and Richard Dreyfuss. The story recounts the unsanctioned, intimate relationships a graduate student engages in with a girl and her mother.
For years, rumors abounded about the source of the story. But for Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston), it is only part of a colorful, Californian history until she goes home to Pasadena for her younger sister's (Mena Suvari) wedding.
There, over vodka, her Grandma (Shirley MacLaine) hints at the identity of the infamous family, suggesting that she herself is Mrs. Robinson. Suddenly for Sarah, her feelings of being an oddity in the family start to make sense. She believes she may be the offspring of the illicit coupling, especially when she learns her mother made an unscheduled trip to meet an old boyfriend only days before her own marriage.
Leaving her fiance, Jeff (Mark Ruffalo), in the airport, she takes a detour to San Francisco where the man in question is speaking to a group of Internet entrepreneurs. Finally getting a moment alone, she presents her paternity query to the multi-millionaire, Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner).
However, the answer isn't quite what she expects. Distraught, Sarah allows herself to be comforted by the businessman. Meanwhile, Jeff is alone in New York waiting for word from his errant girlfriend.
Matrimony and commitment appear to be unnerving concepts for the women in this film. Convinced that her mother lived a loveless existence before passing away, Sarah struggles with the idea of settling down with Jeff. And the side trip to uncover her past ends up looking more like an avoidance tactic than a fatherhood inquiry. Fortunately, the men in this mess are blessed with an abundance of mercy and patience. (Maybe a little too much.)
For those familiar with the 1960s film, Rumor Has It... is a creative stretch of the original script, taking the tale of lustful interactions to a whole new generation of graduates. However for family audiences, the movie is plagued by profanities and sexual dialogue. The intimation of incest and other unsavory affairs also presents a storyline inappropriate for younger viewers.
Uncovering the truth behind the gossip proves to be an important endeavor for Sarah. But tossing aside all the good things in life in pursuit of a rumor can also be a dangerous enterprise.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Rumor Has It.
How does the death of their mother seem to affect Sarah and her sister Annie? What challenges do they appear to face in their adult interactions?
Why does Jeff say that “engagement” involves more than a passing commitment? What does it mean to him? Do you think he makes the right decision in the end?
How important is forgiveness in a successful relationship?