Burning Ears and Raising Fears
Release Date: April 21, 2000
Starring: Lena Headey, Kate Hudson,
Joshua Jackson, James Marsden,
& Norman Reedus
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Executive Producer: Bruce Berman
Producer: Robert F. Newmyer & Jeffrey
Writer: Gregory Poirer & Theresa
Address Comments To:Barry A. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
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.
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