Psst! Did you hear about the new movie Gossip? It sucks. But you didn't hear it here. Actually, it does suck, and when movies like Gossip come out, they are so bad that they are fun to watch. The characters are idiotic and the plot is as transparent as the glass door you hit every time you think it is not there. Gossip is an embarrassment, and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. Most of them are the ubiquitous teen actors, popping up all over the place as fast as they can. The premise of Gossip is interesting enough, before butchering itself to death in this inane thriller. Three teens start a rumor, and try to track how fast and how far it travels before coming back to them. It sounds innocuous enough, but the way it carries out is despicable. In order to justify itself, the movie places the teens in a college class where they are studying the thin line between news and entertainment.

Derrick (James Marsden, Disturbing Behavior, X-Men), Jones (Lena Headey, Twice Upon a Yesterday, Onegin), and Travis (Norman Reedus, The Beatnicks, 8MM) are the three friends in question. They live in Derrick's unbelievably spacious loft and hang out together all the time. At a party, they see Naomi Preston (Kate Hudson, 200 Cigarettes, Desert Blue), the new pretty rich girl whom they all take an instant dislike to. Accompanying her is Beau (Joshua Jackson, The Skulls, Cruel Intentions). Naomi is well known for her refusal to have sex, so when Derrick espies Beau and Naomi, drunk and making out, he watches. Naomi passes out and nothing happens, but Derrick decides to start the rumor to see where it goes. And hey, Derrick, Jones, and Travis can all work on this as a paper for their class. The rumor they circulate is that when Naomi passes out, Beau had sex with her. The situation quickly spirals out of control, with Naomi alleging rape. Rape? Duh! Apparently, Derrick, Jones, and Travis are so stupid they did not think of any of the consequences.

Jones does have a small conscience. It surfaces every once in a while before ducking itself away. Her character is the most unbelievable. The story presents Jones as upstanding and smart, but everything she does contradicts this. It's also unclear why Headey, who usually appears in much better fare, chose this movie (and also appears about a decade older than her co-stars). The story by Gregory Poirier (Rosewood), Theresa Rebeck (Harriet the Spy) and Roger Kumble is about as conventional as they get. It is perfectly clear where it's heading, about halfway into the movie, and the result is boredom. All of the twists in the plot have been done before, and done much better. Director Davis Guggenheim does not even try to make Gossip campy. The movie takes itself way too seriously, which just adds to how bad it is.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 30 minutes, Rated R for sexual content including language, and brief violence.

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