Gossip


Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Written by:Gregory Poirier
Starring: Joshua Jackson, James Marsden, Sharon Lawrence, Kate Hudson, Edward James Olmos, Lena Headey, Norman Reedus
Released: September 14, 2000
Grade: B+

Manipulation of the media is a favourite topic of mine that is interestingly explored in Gossip.  Derrick (Marsden), Cathy (Headey) and Travis (Reedus) are roommates on campus at College.  In a lecture they attend, a discussion evolves on the difference between news and gossip with Derrick on the losing end.

Determined to prove their lecturer wrong, the three set out to create a rumour and then monitor how far it goes and by how much it changes.  Their victims are Naomi (Hudson) and Beau (Jackson) who are a well-known couple in college circles.  Naomi has a fierce reputation of being a virgin and never “giving out”.

When Derrick spies both Naomi and Beau in a romantic moment at a party, Naomi, who is drunk, refuses Beau’s advances before passing out on the bed.  Beau promptly leaves but gives the indication to his mates that he may have just scored.  This gives Derrick’s his rumour to spread - that Naomi, despite all her ethical behaviour, “gave out”.  The experiment becomes a fascinating insight at first but things start to get carried away with people’s lives being put on the line.

Lena Headey gives the film’s best performance and should score some great future roles.  The young cast should be given high praise for all their performances that seem to gel much better than other “teen flicks”.

Director Davis Guggenheim is a newcomer to cinema having worked on TV shows such as Party Of Five, NYPD Blue and ER.  He has created a very dark film right from the intriguing opening scenes in the bar.  Greg Poirier should also be commended for his intelligent screenplay.

Gossip has a lot to say about modern day culture and the power of rumours, whether true or false.  There are plenty of twists and turns and the illusion of what is real and what isn’t will have you guessing all the way to the end.  Just like life.