Director Julie Ann Robinson would have been better served if Snooki had been cast as the lead role. No seriously, at least she would’ve added legitimate Jersey spunk to the film! Even if they gave Pauly D a quick cameo, that would’ve gained a few laughs from me.
One For the Money is set in blue collar New Jersey and focuses on Stephanie Plum (Katharine Heigl), a character I can only hope exudes charisma in the best selling Janet Evanovich novel. Heigl (The Ugly Truth, Life as We Know It) is famous for playing flighty women who are always on the verge of crying and with her Jersey accent going in and out each scene, she doesn’t step up to anything new in Money.
In the film, Plum goes to her parents’ house almost every night for dinner and that’s when she drops the bomb that she’s no longer employed. Her mother suggests to hit up her gross bail bonds cousin Vinny (Patrick Fischler) and beg for a new gig. Plum ends up scoring a job as a bounty hunter and her first assignment is to track down town heart-breaker Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), the guy she also lost her virginity too, what a coincidence.
Morelli is a cop believed to have killed an unarmed man. While Plum is willing to do anything to help her financial and personal problems, she takes the case in hopes to gain $50K for Morelli and maybe rekindle a long lost high school romance. A fabulous message to women of today’s society!
Classic cinema star Debbie Reynolds (Singing in the Rain), shows up in a few scenes to play Plum’s grandmother and she garners her laughs, then exits. If only each of actors performances were less forced like her’s, maybe the movie wouldn’t have been such a drag to sit through. However the actors could certainly blame director Robinson (The Last Song) for never letting Money beat to the sound of its own drum, the supporting characters are thrown into Plum’s sad life and aren’t even given anything to play with.
Irish born O’Mara (Terra Nova) and Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me), who plays the Ranger, shows Plum the bounty hunter ropes, are both put in for male eye candy.
Money is basically The Bounty Hunter starring Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston, which says a lot about this movie. I’m sure Evanovich’s novel is charming and a fun read, but the film was barely watchable.
Perhaps this is simply a story that should’ve stuck to the pages, rather than moving to the screen. Or, maybe the choice of lead actress and director would have made the film less groaning to watch.