One for the Money
Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl), out of work and out of cash, turns in desperation to her disreputable cousin Vinnie, of Vinnie’s Bail Bonds, for work. Despite having no equipment, training or particular skill she becomes a bail enforcement agent, chasing after Vinnie’s highest stakes bail jumper: Joe Morelli, a former vice cop who is wanted for murder, who also happened to seduce and dump Stephanie back in high school.
In the midst of the chase, Stephanie has to deal with her meddling family, a problematic tendency of witnesses who die when she gets too close, and lessons in bounty hunting from the mysterious Ranger (Daniel Sunjata). When she finally catches up to Morelli, she realizes that the case against him doesn’t add up and that the old flame from their school days may just be rekindling.
It wasn’t that long ago that Katherine Heigl was on track to be the new “it girl” when it comes to romantic comedies. Somewhere along the way, though, she decided to run her mouth and basically got blacklisted, which is why her career seemed to have halted. Hell, Grey’s Anatomy didn’t even want her back! Will One for the Money be a jump-start to her career?
What did I like?
Plot. While it does feel a little recycled, it is very well executed. I don’t know how far this strays from the source material, but if the book is anything like this, I’m almost tempted to read it.
Not what you think. John Leguizamo always amazes me with how well he is able to convincingly play these characters that are nothing short of dastardly slimeballs, yet when we first meet them, they seem as if they are going to be decent guys. Steve Buscemi is another actor who tends to play characters like that, as well.
Old girl still has some tricks. Debbie Reynolds has a few scenes as the grandmother. She isn’t really integral to the plot, or anything, but just there for the family scenes. As one can imagine, she’s got quite the mouth on her. That’s all I’m going to say about her other than it was enjoyable to see her at work.
Narration. I love those old films and TV shows where the detective, or what have you, is narrating what is going on and there is a low bluesy saxophone playing softly in the background. We don’t get the sax here, but the narration is there. Some people have chided it, but I actually liked having some insight to what was going on. It made it feel like we watching the book unfold on screen.
Shower scene. Heigl has said she won’t do nude scenes in her career (she’ll change her tone in a few years…or do Dancing with the Stars…or both). The thing about that, though, is that there is a shower scene where she is all but naked. A friend of mine that saw this said that he was just wishing for her to suddenly get a hand cramp or something. I won’t go that far, but being a guy, I can’t help but say that I enjoyed seeing Katherine Heigl in a state of undress, especially in the shower. Throw in some handcuffs, and well…heh heh…that’s a topic for another time!
Sexual healing. There is obviously some history between Stephanie and Joe. They make it a point to bring it up many times, but the chemistry between Heigl and Jason O’mara is off the charts. It was almost as if there was some real sexual tension there!
What didn’t I like?
Jersey. Ever since that damn Jersey Shore crap started, everything has been “Jersey this” and “Jersey that”. Now, I can’t really fault this film for falling into that category. The book was written in 1994, for goodness sakes, but enough is enough. There hasn’t really been much good to come out of Jersey lately. I think the last great thing that came out of there was Anne Hathaway!
Accentuate the positive. When we first meet Katherine Heigl’s character, she has this thick, typical Jersey accent. It isn’t the best, but it was there and established as part of the character. The next thing you know, though, it is gone, then back, then gone again. Do we sense a pattern here. Oh, and then don’t forget that she doesn’t narrate with this accent, either. This would not be a problem if she would have just kept with it and not go back and forth.
Continuity, it is your friend. If I timed this right, everything happens in the span of a few days. When Heigl first becomes a bounty hunter, she has no ability to shoot a gun or pick a lock, then a few days later she’s a master at both? The lock-picking I can deal with a bit more because she saw the guy who has been helping her do it a few times and may very well have just picked up what he did. However, the gun thing…I just can’t suspend disbelief on something like that. No way is that possible!
Sherri Shepherd. Not a fan of her. Why in the blue hell would someone cast her as a prostitute? On top of that, why you make her such a major (secondary) character? I guess they just wanted to make sure those women that watch The View came to see this.
One for the Money is not a disappointment. This is one of those films that should not be taken seriously, because if you do, then you’re sure to not enjoy this film. Katherine Heigl is still a darling of romantic comedies in my book (and may actually look better as a brunette), so hopefully this will garner her more work. I hear this could be the start of aBridget Jonestype franchise. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. In the end, though, this isn’t the greatest film around, but it is fun and entertaining!
3 3/4 out of 5 stars