GOSSIP

Burning Ears and Raising Fears

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: April 21, 2000

Starring: Lena Headey, Kate Hudson,
Joshua Jackson, James Marsden,
& Norman Reedus

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Audience: Older teenagers & adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Director: Davis Guggenheim

Executive Producer: Bruce Berman

Producer: Robert F. Newmyer & Jeffrey
Silver

Writer: Gregory Poirer & Theresa
Rebeck

Address Comments To:

Barry A. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
(818) 954-6000

Content:

(HH, B, PaPa, Ab, LL, VV, SS, AA, DD, MMM) Humanistic morality tale where characters participate in & investigate the power of gossip spoiled by pagan & anti-biblical elements, with one student comparing gossip to the Gospels & concluding that the Bible is “just a bunch of stories that contradict each other”; 12 obscenities, some mild obscenities, 2 profanities, & some crude sexual talk; moderate violence including implied vomiting, men punch each other, man kicks other man lying on ground, man has violent fit of rage while overturning & breaking things, man holds man at gunpoint, woman is shot in chest accidentally; sexual situations including kissing, foreplay, implied fornication, woman says, “I just don’t get women who are afraid of sex” in reference to her willingness & descriptive talk of sexual encounters with groups & individuals; no nudity but some cleavage & woman’s thigh are shown; numerous instances of alcohol use & several scenes of drunken characters; smoking; and, lying, blackmail, deceit, & revenge.

Summary:

A seemingly harmless white lie turns into a destructive situation in GOSSIP, a movie combining the suspense of a thriller with the everyday occurrence of “talk.” Though the gossip mongers are eventually rebuked, the character motives and content, including humanistic worldview, sexual situations and violence, limit any lesson to be learned.

Review:

Wispy rumors are spun into a web of destruction and deception in GOSSIP, a movie about three friends whose abilities to lie lead them to use their ‘skills’ for a class project. The rumors grow by the day, the severity of the situation grows beyond their intentions, and any attempts to repair the damage may be too late.

Lena Headey (of THE JUNGLE BOOK) stars as Cathy Jones, called Jones by everyone including her roommates, Derrick (James Marsden of TV’s SECOND NOAH) and Travis (Norman Reedus of 8MM). The three consider themselves close friends, attending the same college and partying together. Derrick, a wealthy young man with good looks, has a confidence about him that contrasts greatly with Travis, whose artistic expressiveness comes out in everything but his speech, especially when it comes to girls.

One evening, at a nightclub, Jones and Derrick encourage Travis to talk to a girl, which he does, though failing miserably. Sitting at the bar, Jones listens as Derrick tells the bartender that Travis is the son of a wealthy rock star. With the rumor planted, the information turns into an outrageous tale that eventually leads the girl to talk to Travis. Jones, meanwhile, finds out that a rumor spread about her having an affair with her professor is being gossiped. When she tries to find the source, a friend tells her that Naomi (Kate Hudson), a rich girl who snubs her, started it. Derrick, on the other hand, takes a girl up to a private room to have sex, but the girl begins to get sick because she is drunk. When Derrick gets a towel for her, he sees Naomi enter with her boyfriend, Beau (Joshua Jackson). Not wanting to be seen, he watches as Beau fondles her, then stops, when he discovers that Naomi has passed out drunk.

The next day in class the students are assigned a project. They decide to do a combined project on gossip, in which they spread a rumor and track its growth and change. Derrick, knowing Jones is vexed with Naomi, tells her that he saw Naomi have sex with Beau. Known for not “giving it up” to any guy, Naomi would be a perfect target. Jones is apprehensive at first, but later gives in to Derrick’s persuasion. Jones spreads the rumor and is thrilled at first because she’s finally getting her revenge. After a few days, however, things change. Naomi accuses Beau of rape, eventually leading to his arrest. When Jones defies Derrick by going to the authorities, she is warned that she is obstructing justice. As the rumor snowballs into an avalanche, discoveries are made that divide Jones, Derrick and Travis, who eventually learn their lesson.

Though virtually unknowns make up most of its cast, GOSSIP is well acted and somewhat intriguing. The twists and turns it takes are interesting enough, though its ending is far-fetched and abrupt. This story about the implications of lying does, however, bring a sense of reality to the consequences of gossip, including the hurt it can bring. Proverbs 17:4 says, “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.” This movie depicts gossip as fun at first, with characters laughing over the stories they can make up, but, a lie can turn into a tragedy for some and, in this depiction, ammunition for the scorned.

GOSSIP contains violence and sexual situations requiring extreme caution for adults. Its humanistic worldview leaves God out of the picture entirely. In one scene, the three friends are in class and Derrick is asked to define the difference between news and gossip. Derrick responds by saying that news is gossip, citing the Bible as his example. He calls the gospels “just a bunch of stories that contradict each other.” His character is later rebuked for his immoral thinking, but not necessarily pertaining to this comment. Regrettably, GOSSIP falls short of the TRUTH of Christ’s teachings. Its objectionable content limits any lesson to be learned.

In Brief:

Though virtually unknowns make up most of its cast, GOSSIP has twists and turns that are interesting enough, though its ending is far-fetched and abrupt. This story about three friends spreading a rumor that grows out of control does, however, bring a sense of reality to the consequences of gossip, including the hurt it can bring. Proverbs 17:4 says, “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.” This movie depicts gossip as fun at first, with characters laughing over the stories they can create, but, the lie leads to revenge and tragedy, with the gossip mongers learning their lesson.

GOSSIP contains violence and sexual situations requiring extreme caution, even for adults. Its humanistic worldview leaves God out of the picture. In one scene, one friend is asked to define the difference between news and gossip. He responds by saying that news is gossip, citing the Bible as his example. He calls the gospels “a bunch of stories that contradict each other.” His character is later rebuked for his thinking, but not necessarily pertaining to this comment. Regrettably, GOSSIP falls short of the TRUTH of Christ’s teachings