Directed by Rob Reiner, starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Mena Suvari, Mark Ruffalo, Shirley MacLaine and Richard Jenkins.

Supposedly capturing the stories of the characters that inspired the novel (and later the Dustin Hoffman-starring film) 'The Graduate', this extremely light-hearted film picks up with the next generation, as the romancer of the mother and daughter now sets his sights on the granddaughter.

Let's face it, this was always going to be very clichéd, and slightly over-the-top, but 'Rumour Has It' stretches credibility just a little bit too far and comes off the worse for it. Director Rob Reiner has an impressive list of flicks on his CV to date, including 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'This Is Spinal Tap', but he's not likely to be in a hurry to add 'Rumour Has It' to that list for any bragging purposes. Stemming from a great movie, this had potential to be so much more entertaining than it is.

Sarah (Aniston) is wandering through life in a daze, unsure of where she belongs, why she's working in her current job (writing obituaries) and getting very cold feet about marrying the charming, if a little dull, Jeff (Ruffalo). Then her younger sister Annie (Suvari) announces that she is getting married, forcing Sarah to return home to Pasadena for the wedding and socialise with family and friends that she really doesn't fit in with.

But a chance discovery offers Sarah a bit of excitement, when her suspicions suggest that her family may have inspired 'The Graduate'. So she sets about finding out the truth, which leads her onto a search for the real Benjamin Braddock, known to her mother as Beau Burroughs (Costner) - once she has already established that her grandmother Katharine (MacLaine) is the infamous Mrs Robinson, of course.

So what we have from here on in is a lost girl looking for love, a middle-aged man hoping to try his luck with her, a crazy sister prone to anxiety attacks and a caustic grandmother, intent on spreading every last ounce of bitterness she can muster up.

MacLaine is great as the ageing lady who will never admit to being old, really capturing the twisted logic of someone with far too much experience of the big bad world. Costner is convincing as the ladies man who doesn't know when to call it a day, turning on the charm at every given opportunity. But Aniston fails to impress in her role. Physically, she remains Rachel Green, same famous hair, same dress sense, same mannerisms. And in the end, her character just sounds a little too familiar to be convincing as someone other than the loveable 'Friends' character.

A certain amount of people will go to see this because they've heard it's a lead-on from 'The Graduate'. More still will go see it because the beautiful Jennifer Aniston is the leading lady. But those with either mindset are likely to be equally disappointed. As romantic comedies go, this one isn't all that romantic...or funny for that matter.

Linda McGee