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Review: ‘One for the Money’

Courtesy of Lionsgate

Falling somewhere between predictable romantic comedy and low-budget cop movie, “One for the Money” adapts best-selling author Janet Evanovich’s 1994 novel into an hour and a half of bland dialogue and Katherine Heigl’s failed attempts at a New Jersey accent.

 

Recently laid off from her job as a lingerie sales manager at Macy’s, Jersey girl Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) seeks work as a bounty hunter in her cousin’s bail bond company. The assignments put her on the track of Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), a former love interest from high school who broke her heart. Attracted as much to the $50,000 reward for bringing Morelli in to the police as she is to the prospect of getting revenge on her high school ex for “stealing her canola oil,” Plum haphazardly throws herself into the chase with the help of another bounty hunter named Ranger.

 

Questions regarding Morelli’s guilt for shooting an unarmed man begin to surface shortly thereafter, and Plum finds herself working alongside her initial antagonist to find witnesses to the shooting. But the two cannot properly cooperate until they have engaged in a series of sexually-charged struggles, the most ridiculous of these involving Morelli handcuffing Plum, clad in nothing but a towel, to a shower rod.

 

With the help of Morelli and a sassy hooker named Lula, Plum sets out to uncover the mystery surrounding the shooting, plunging into a world of heroin-dealing thugs and violent boxers. As witnesses of the shooting begin disappearing, Morelli and Plum must overcome their hostilities in order to stay alive and solve the case. All seems in order until the end of the day when Plum must ask herself: Is she in this for the money, or for the guy?

 

With a fairly formulaic plot, we would expect the film to give us some witty one-liners, or at the very least some clever banter between Plum and Morelli to make up for the lack of narrative originality. Unfortunately, the screenwriters fail on all accounts and resort to bland, overused humor and banal jokes. One of the more cringe-worthy of these is Plum’s heavy-handed double entendre that “she’s going to nail Morelli” by bringing him into the police.

 

Probably the only thing worse than the dialogue is Heigl’s attempt to speak with a New Jersey accent, a task much better suited to any member of the Jersey Shore cast. Lucky for us, Heigl reserves her verbal stylization for a select few words that can really showcase a forced Jersey accent.

 

The few redeeming moments come from Plum’s loud-mouthed family in the beginning of the movie and Lula (Sherri Shepherd), characters who get far too little screen time considering the lead actress’ terrible acting.

 

Despite the popularity of Evanovich’s book, “One for the Money” is just another Katherine Heigl movie in a whole slew of her films. If you’re looking for a clever adaptation or comedy, look elsewhere. This one’s not worth your money.

  • Buffum56

    couldn’t have said it better, laura.  i was so disappointed with the movie.  bad casting/no life to the characters.  all “they” had to do was follow the book