I’ve been on tour this week with Jenny Owen Youngs, my dear, dear friend. The two of us have many things in common, but our movie viewing history is not one of them. I discovered this while we were driving from Seattle to Portland, and I mentioned my deep love of Steven Soderbergh’s classic 1998 film Out of Sight. Jenny has never seen it. Casey, who is on tour with us selling merch, has never seen it. Frankly, I’d be a little more shocked if I hadn’t just recently listened to George Clooney on the WTF podcast, where he mentioned that Out of Sight wasn’t a box office hit when it came out.
Faced with these three pieces of evidence, I’m very concerned that not enough people have watched this stellar movie. If ‘rom-com-heist’ qualifies as a movie genre, then it’s my favorite genre, and Out of Sight is the pinnacle. And so, dear reader, in case you have also missed this essential viewing, let me enumerate some of the reasons why you should watch it right now:
The film stars Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, and they are both at their peak hotness, at the same time.
The chemistry between J.Lo and G.Clo is terrific, but there is great chemistry between everyone. I mean:
Check out the rest of this cast: Don Cheadle! Catherine Keener! Ving Rhames! Luis Guzman! Steve Zahn! Dennis Farina, one of my all-time favorites! The brilliant Albert Brooks! There’s even a smaller role played by Oscar-, Emmy-, and Tony-award winner Viola Davis! A cameo by Michael Keaton AND a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson!
The source material is a novel by Elmore Leonard, whose work also gave us greats like Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and Justified. (Michael Keaton plays the same character in both Out of Sight and Jackie Brown — an Elmore Leonard Cinematic Universe!)
The level of craftsmanship in the filmmaking is really high. In addition to an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, it was nominated for Best Editing. There’s one central scene that’s actually two scenes cleverly intertwined. (It’s also an homage to Nicholas Roeg’s 1973 film Don’t Look Now, but if you haven’t seen Out of Sight yet, this might not be a reference that you’ll find exciting.)
The score, by David Holmes, is cool, fun, and sexy, and—man, I wish someone would describe me the way I feel about this music—a great start to the collaboration he and Soderbergh would have throughout the Oceans movies, too.
Are you convinced yet? You! should! watch! and then tell me how much you enjoyed it! One of the reasons why I’ve seen this movie so many times is because it never feels like it’s not the right time to watch it. Friday night date movie? Yes! Tuesday afternoon sick day comfort viewing? Yes! It has the ideal blend of jokes, charm, and action to be the perfect thing to put on, regardless of when you’re watching.
If you already love Out of Sight, join me in the comments section for this newsletter post to exhort other readers and bring all of our friends into the fold.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying to get Jenny to watch. Hopefully with me.
We only have one show left on our tour! On Tuesday, May 17, we play in Los Angeles. 8:30pm at the Lodge Room. Get tickets here!