Picks and Pans Review: Disclosure
This is one of those big, sleek soulless movies that hums along, impressed with itself and the Big Issue it allegedly tackles—here it's sexual harassment, with the twist that it's a man leveling the charge at his female boss. But like Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal, its predecessors in casting and in feel, what Disclosure really does best is appeal to your most prurient instincts while simultaneously making you covetous of the characters' designer wardrobes and swank home-and-office furnishings.
Douglas plays a happily married executive at a computer company who is finessed out of a promotion by his ex-girlfriend, a business whiz (Moore). After his new boss invites him to her office for an after-hours cocktail, she plays tug with his zipper. Initially responsive, he then just says no. Moore screeches a caustic and specific response that is destined to become a camp classic, right up there with "No wire hangers, ever!" The next day she announces that he attacked her. He, in turn, hires a hotshot lawyer (Roma Maffia, who nails her every line) and charges sexual harassment.
As directed by Barry Levinson and adapted by screenwriter Paul Attanasio from Michael Crichton's best-selling 1994 novel of the same name, Disclosure has a slick veneer and fast pace that help gloss over the plot holes, which are gaping by the movie's end. As for the cast, righteous indignation becomes Douglas, but Moore is less successful with her dragon lady. She's fine when either predatorily sexy or fuming, but embarrassingly unconvincing in scenes where she is required to talk computerese or financialese. In smaller roles, Sutherland is appropriately silky as the company owner, Caroline Goodall labors mightily to add a touch of steel to the wimpy part of Douglas's wife, and the hypersnide Miller, playing one of Douglas's colleagues, gets off a couple of hilariously proto-Millerian lines. (R)