Rumor Has It… is the story of a woman (Jennifer Aniston) who finds out that her grandmother (Shirley Maclaine) might have been the inspiration for the Mrs. Robinson character in The Graduate. This tricky emotional ground gives her the excuse to question everything in her life that she’s vaguely unsure about, including her fiancee (Mark Ruffalo, shedding those last ounces of credibility).
The movie had some rough happenings during production. Original director Ted Griffin (who wrote Matchstick Men) was replaced mysteriously after about a week and a half of shooting and replaced by Rob Reiner, who was apparently sitting by the phone waiting for a call. There was some speculation that this was because the leads (particularly Aniston) didn’t feel the material was light and frothy enough, but as I said that’s just speculation.
If it would have been possible for the marketing department to implant voice chips in the poster that scream “Jennifer Aniston is in this movie!” I think they would have. She’s right there in the front row and with a full body shot as opposed to Maclaine, Ruffalo and Kevin Costner, who are all relegated to the background. Believe me, I have nothing against Aniston’s body (but I’d like to) but it’s a little over the top if you ask me.
Serious and comedic moments get interspersed almost at random, like they decided which moments they wanted to include and then just chopped them together without any rhyme or reason. It’s not a bad trailer, and is actually pretty good for a romantic comedy. We get the basic points that Ruffalo is a tad conservative, Aniston a bit wild, Maclaine refuses to get old and Costner is a rake. There’s also the setup to the whole Graduate underpining that is the dramtic device taking the characters from Point A to Point B.
The most disconcerting moment in the trailer is when, after Aniston asks Ruffalo to bring her a copy of The Graduate he walks in with a VHS copy. Huh? These people live in nice houses, they look like they wear nice clothes and make a decent income. So how come nobody upgraded to DVD? That’s odd and almost completely threw me out of the trailer.
The site opens with a reproduction of the poster art, only with the elements arranged slightly differently. As with most Warner Bros. sites they have some of the offerings available on the HTML site before you go into the Flash site. Doing so isn’t really worth the effort, though, since there’s nothing of note there, just the standard offerings.
Much better is the RumorMaker site I wrote about a couple days ago. Make a fake tabloid headline about someone and then send it to them. Great way to get the audience interacting with the brand/movie a bit and a solid effort by the studio Pod Design.
Something about this movie and it’s campaign is telling me it’s not that bad, but I can’t put my finger on what that might be. The trailer is kind of a mess, the poster is worthy of framing but mainly if you’re a single guy, not as a great work of graphic design. The website is tepid. Can’t say anything really jumped out at me and I have to give this one a thumbs-down.