Out of Sight - Simmering

This film is stylish and sexy, good-to-look at and easy to take, but I supect it won't wear well. I like Stephen Soderbergh, and not just for Sex,Lies and Videotape. I liked The Underneath and King of the Hill t oo. He's styish and I like that style - particularly in The Underneath, where the narrative was intriguingly fragmented, and underlined the significance of the fragments of peoples' experience which make up their lives.

Out of Sight is altogether less significant, but we shouldn't forget that there is plenty of room in life and the movies for films which do not change the world. This film won't do that, but it will show you a good time for a couple of hours. It's a fun romantic comedy. The pairing of George Clooney (whom I've never seen before because, incredibly, I don't watch ER, or even Chicago Hope ) and Jennifer Lopez works well - there's plenty of chemistry there.

Her character is a nice sassy one. What a shame she was forced to wear what appeared to be a wardrobe which consists almost entirely of Gucci items. This detail which had to be justified by a father (Dennis Farina) who lavished expensive clothes on his daughter . Apart from the sheer improbability of a father knowing his daughter's dress size, let alone what's fashionable, this was an annoying detail that just grated on me. Was this in Elmore Leonard's novel, I wonder, or is it a fault of the screenplay (by Scott Frank)?

What Soderburgh doesn't do is make anything really special of the Elmore Leonard material. I think Tarantino managed it with Jackie Brown, and Barry Sonnenfeld did to a lesser degree with Get Shorty. Both those films relied on humour and character, chills and thrills and a lightning-fast pace. This film is slower-paced, not nearly as funny, and kind of plodding. He even manages to make a jail-break scene that should be hilarious, just mildly amusing, and even a bit confusing. A lighter touch is needed for this sort of material. Soderbergh has many talents, but up 'til now a light touch hasn't been in evidence. Perhaps he's working on it.