Sex, deception and rumor detonate when fellow university students and roommates Derrick (JAMES MARSDEN), Jones (LENA HEADEY) and Travis (NORMAN REEDUS) collaborate on their new journalism class assignment: identifying the link between news and gossip. But when their class project goes frighteningly out of control, it puts friendships, the future -and lives – in jeopardy.

One night at a wild off-campus party, Derrick stumbles onto the perfect subject matter for the gossip assignment when he spies Naomi (KATE HUDSON) – a beautiful, wealthy and chaste freshman – drunk and locked in the arms of her boyfriend, Beau (JOSHUA JACKSON). Although Naomi’s determined attitudes on sex are well known, the trio nonetheless manufactures and plants a rumor that she and Beau have slept together.

Once this incendiary piece of gossip is released onto the fertile environment of the university campus, it immediately explodes beyond their expectations and control, with even Naomi’s friend, Sheila (MARISA COUGHLAN), getting swept up by the turn of events and helping to spread the story. But when the police arrest Beau for date rape, Jones, Travis and Derrick become trapped by their malignant creation. Suddenly, their game has become deadly serious – and when the secret past of one of the three surfaces, their friendship enters an intensely dramatic new phase.

Along with young veteran Joshua Jackson, this stylish new drama brings together to the screen the fresh, alluring talents of tomorrow’s cinema in James Marsden, Lena Headey, Norman Reedus, Kate Hudson and Marisa Coughlan.



August 11, 2000


Davis Guggenheim


Gregory Poirier, Theresa Rebeck


Warner Bros.


Drama, Mystery, Thriller




90 min