on April 21, 2000 by Mike Kerrigan
   It has a little more style than substance, but nevertheless "Gossip" is head-and-shoulders above many other college-age movies. It at least has a viable idea that plays to effect and even manages a nice double-whammy ending.

   The story concerns three communications students who decide to start a rumor to see who will believe it and how it is spread. Their efforts are a little too effective, and people start to get hurt, culminating in the arrest of one possibly innocent person. What is really potent is their largely futile efforts to halt the damage they are doing.

   "Gossip" is a bit plot-heavy, but there is enough action to hold one's interest and the movie has a very stylish look. The loft in which the three leads live--who has this kind of money?--is a spectacular set and director Davis Guggenheim (a TV alum) gets great mileage from it.

   James Marsden ("Disturbing Behavior") is the charming handsome bad boy, Lena Headey ("Onegin," "Twice Upon a Yesterday") the bright and pretty girl-next-door while Norman Reedus ("The Boondock Saints," "8MM") is the introverted and slightly creepy artistic member of the trio. The three have good chemistry and work out the many intricacies while swigging enough multi-colored martinis to put lesser mortals in rehab or a liver transplant program.

   The three relative newcomers get sterling support from some familiar faces like Edward James Olmos, Sharon Lawrence and Eric Bogosian. Kate Hudson ("200 Cigarettes," "Desert Blue") delivers another solid performance as the woman who may or may not have been raped. For her part, she was too drunk to be sure. It will not be long now before people stop referring to her as Goldie Hawn's daughter. Starring James Marsden, Lena Headey and Norman Reedus. Directed by Davis Guggenheim. Written by Gregory Poirier and Theresa Rebeck. Produced by Jeffrey Silver and Bobby Newmyer. A Warner Bros. release. Psychological drama. Rated R for sexual content including language and for brief violence. Running time: 90 min

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