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RUMOR HAS IT

About The Story
Rumor Has It… unfolds in the sedate, settled, "old money” Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena. "Pasadena is that perfect, very proper, stratified enclave,” comments Paula Weinstein (Monster-In-Law, Analyze That), who produced the film with Ben Cosgrove (Good Night, And Good Luck). "Everything is done by the rules; everybody goes to the same country club, they shop in the same stores and they know everyone on the block. It can seem rather oppressive and very dull.”

Native to this habitat is the Huttinger family: father Earl (Richard Jenkins), daughter Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) and her younger sister, Annie (Mena Suvari). Sarah's mother, who married while still a young and beautiful woman, passed away when Sarah was nine. 

"Sarah is confused and unsure of where she's going and who she is,” says Jennifer Aniston, who shot to fame as one of the stars of television's Friends and has distinguished herself in such films as The Good Girl and Bruce Almighty. "I think this stems from the fact that she feels there's a big piece of herself missing because she has always felt disconnected from her family, especially after her mother's death.”

Sarah's been living in New York, pursuing a journalism career that seems to have peaked at writing wedding announcements and obituaries for The New York Times. The ambivalence she feels toward her job and family is echoed in her relationship with her fiancé Jeff – whom she is terrified of actually marrying. 

"Sarah is frightened of being sucked into her family's staid way of life,” comments director Rob Reiner, who has helmed some of the most successful and influential comedies of all time, including When Harry Met Sally… and This is Spinal Tap. "She not only wants more adventure, she feels like she might be settling for something that isn't a true extension of who she is. Her fear is that she will lose herself in a middle class lifestyle.”

When Annie's wedding brings Sarah back to Pasadena, their dad welcomes Jeff like a son...but Sarah is reluctant to reveal to anyone that they're engaged. "Jeff is a decent guy with pretty clear intentions,” says Mark Ruffalo, who has been widely praised for his work in dramas and comedies alike, such as You Can Count on Me, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Just Like Heaven. "He's in love with Sarah and is looking forward to getting married. Then he sees her spin out into indecision and reticence about their commitment. She is really not sure about the decision she made when she accepted Jeff's proposal. She's terrified of making any decisions or choices. By not telling anyone about her engagement, she's avoided making a choice.”

By contrast, Sarah's sister can only scream and giggle about the prospect of being married. Unlike Sarah, Annie is buoyant and bubbly – or as Sarah puts it, "My sister likes to bounce.” 

"Annie and Sarah probably have gotten along throughout their lives because that's what would be expected of sisters in Pasadena,” notes Mena Suvari, star of American Beauty and the first and second chapters of American Pie film series. "But I don't think they spent much time emotionally with one another.”

Sarah can't believe her sister is plunging into marriage with such ease. To her, it looks alarmingly like the end of any possible excitement and the beginning of stultifying boredom. "Annie races into life pell-mell and doesn't really think about it too much,” says Suvari. "At one point Sarah asks her if she's scared and Annie says Scared of what? She just doesn't get it and seems bemused that her sister would even ask such a dumb question.”

In the Huttinger household, everyone sticks to safe topics – sports, tennis, fishing. Consequently, "Sarah has never been able to explore or understand those things she felt were missing from her connection to her own family,” says Aniston. "She's a little like Mount St. Helens –<

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