I have a confession, dear readers. I’m a multiple offender. Well, not in the traditional sense, but I’m one of those guys that always finds himself buying the same movie twice, especially now with the increasing number of blu ray transfers. Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed, but other times, I find some twisted way to justify it.
Case in point with my latest purchase, Out of Sight. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, you hafta hear me out. It stars George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez (I said hear me out!) as two very different people. George Clooney puts his looks to good use as con man Jack Foley, while Jennifer Lopez plays U.S. Marshal, Karen Sisco. Naturally, the two meet and do the whole “I hate you, but secretly wanna bone you” thing for awhile in one of the strangest romantic comedies in recent years. But it’s not where Out of Sight ends up that makes the movie so fun, it’s all about how it gets there.
I guess the first thing to address about Out of Sight would be its difficult to place genre. It’s definitely steeped in the makings of a romantic comedy. I mean, just take a look at some of the more obvious characteristics. Good-looking leading man? Assuming George Clooney’s your type, check. Jennifer Lopez? No, seriously, I can’t remember the last movie she made that wasn’t a romantic comedy, so we’re gonna call that one a “check.” Two seemingly star-crossed lovers? I mean, sure Jack and Karen got nothin’ on Romeo & Juliet, but they have their fair share of difficulties, so I say count it.
But then again, how many rom-coms do you know that feature gun fights? Sure, it’s got some of the more traditional elements of a romantic comedy, but it’s got enough to keep opponents of the sub-genre (such as myself) more than amused. At its heart, Out of Sight is as deceptive as its con man protagonist. It subdues you into putting up with some of the more tired love story elements by engaging you in gun play and some solid comedy.
Nevertheless, I could go on and on about what Out of Sight is and what it isn’t, but its difficult to pin down genre isn’t the soul of the movie. The film firmly anchors itself in its characters. Jack and Karen are not without their individual charms, but the film succeeds best when the two characters are engaging with one another. The one scene that comes to mind, which those who have seen the movie will more than likely agree, features Jack and Karen locked in the trunk of a car together. The scene showcases an impressive back and forth between the two, which is harder to accomplish than it would seem. Underneath all of their words is that undeniable carnal attraction. The scene doesn’t even do very much to address it, save a few lines here and there, but it’s present the whole time. So many movies succeed or fail based on the chemistry between their leading man and leading lady, but Out of Sight is a perfect example of when the chemistry makes the movie.
Even years after its 1998 release, Out of Sight remains one of the most engaging films in recent history. While I’ll admit that part of it stems from my low expectations for both George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong. While the sexy crime caper succeeds on its own as a story, I can’t imagine anyone else better encapsulating these characters than those two. Check it out for the chemistry, but stay for the story. You won’t be disappointed.