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GOSSIP

SYNOPSIS:
When journalism professor Goodwin (Eric Bogosian) asks, "Whatís the difference between news and gossip," three university students and roommates, Derrick (James Marsden), Jones (Lena Headey), and Travis (Norman Reedus), experiment with the possibilities. At first it gets them a few free drinks in a bar, but when Derrick oversees the openly chaste Naomi (Kate Hudson) drunk and pre-coitus with Beau (Joshua Jackson), he spots a perfect opportunity to take his experiment further. He brings his roommates in on the plot; and soon the entire campus knows that the normally chaste Naomi had sex with Beau. Yet when Naomi has Beau arrested for rape, Derrick, Jones, and Travis become entangled in their own web of lies, forcing deadly secrets to re-surface.

"Light hearted banter turns to drama tinged with deadly revenge in Gossip, a slick, sophisticated teen campus tale Hollywood style, where sex takes centre stage. When is gossip and news the same thing? How does gossip become news? And what kind of consequences are there to pay when an embellishment spreads like a deadly virus and impacts beyond our control? There's more to Gossip than first meets the eye: this is one very well made Hollywood film with superb performances and enough psychological edge to keep us engrossed. Lena Headey has great appeal Ė hers is a natural sexuality and she combines flippant with responsible convincingly. James Marsden is wonderfully complex as Derrick Ė this is a character that we can love and hate at the same time, while Norman Reedus contrasts as the intriguing, twisted, perverse Travis. Reminiscent of Virgin Suicides' Lux, Kate Hudson allures and is perfectly cast as Naomi Ė the gal who intimidates with her Mont Blanc accessories. With shadows cast from Dangerous Liaisons and Gross Misconduct, the poor little rich kids syndrome is explored and the unwelcome chill of cynicism exposed. Life seems pretty cool on the college campus and Derrick has a studio apartment to die for. Reminiscent of the swish apartment in Two Girls and a Guy, this pad on two levels, is roomy, has art dripping from the walls the kind of bar and dťcor you could drool about. Oh college life is tough! The dorms don't look too bad either, and the students are all a pretty good looking bunch. But beyond the superficial, Gossip successfully keeps us on the very edge of our seats, as the developments unfold. It resists predictability and manages to not only be good entertainment, but tantalises the grey cells in the areas of taking responsibility, morals, telling the truth and loyalty. It's fun, involving and edgy. Come gossip!"
Louise Keller

"Hey - heard about the movie where a Dawsonís Creek star gets busy with a delicious young virgin? You know - the college thriller with so many pretty faces it could be set in a Hollywood casting lounge. Faces just a shave too old for college. Where the students are so rich they wear designer clothes to class and live in penthouse-like lofts? Well, Iíll let you in on it; thatís Gossip, and there hasnít been a prissier, sillier college head-case since Cruel Intentions. The sluggish first half hour struggles to find a plot to grab onto, and when it does, Gossip only manages a simmer. Television director Davis Guggenheim (NYPD Blue, ER) wrestles through Gregory Poirier and Theresa Blackís tritely dialogued mess of ideas, and makes it look as good as he can with artfully montaged wallpaper in the loft and sheik cocktail glassware. But Gossip fails to offer clear, cogent plot development, and thatís a shame, for in surer hands its ample potential may have been realised. Urban Legend, for example, at least took its material to its deadly end. Gossip, rumour and innuendo could be anything from funny to deadly, and college settings make for especially juicy milieus. Gossip squanders its opportunities; itís all but devoid of humour, and it never really goes out to scare, though you await either. Itís much ado about nothing, with Lena Headey the only standout as Jones, who wants to come clean and begins her own Nancy Drew-ish investigation. The development goes nowhere, and the film falls into the routine twists-and turns, building to a routine crescendo. Joshua Jackson (Pacey from Dawsonís Creek) has just a handful of lines as the menacing boyfriend, and itís a wasted talent. Norman Reedus makes a creepy name for himself as Travis (Bickle?), the slightly off-kilter starving artist. Heís sure to pop up in more screwy character roles ala Steve Buscemi and Vince Vaughn. But thatís just gossip."
Shannon J. Harvey

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

Our New York correspondent, Jeff Sipe, REPORTS on the press junket

GOSSIP (M)
(US)

CAST: James Marsden, Lena Headey, Norman Reedus, Kate Hudson, Marisa Coughlan, Sharon Lawrence

PRODUCERS: Jeffrey Silver, Bobby Newmyer

DIRECTOR: Davis Guggenheim

SCRIPT: Gregory Poirier, Theresa Rebeck (story by Gregory Poirier)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Amdrezek Bartlpwoal A/S/C;

EDITOR: Jay Cassidy

MUSIC: Graeme Revell

PRODUCTION DESIGN:David Nichols

RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 14, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Ent

VIDEO RELEASE: March 28, 2001







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