Don and Bridget Cardigan's upper middle class lifestyle is threatened since Don, who has been out of work for a year, seems to have given up looking for a job, and housewife Bridget has been out of the workforce for most of her life. They are close to $300,000 in debt. Finding out this information, Bridget comes to the conclusion that she needs to get a job - any job - that at least provides them with some benefits. She reluctantly takes a job as a janitor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Almost immediately, Bridget is enthralled with all the old worn out money that is being shredded. She comes up with a plan to get her old lifestyle back by stealing much of that money, which she believes is an easy job since the locks used on the money carts are standard equipment and as she notices that no one ever checks the garbage as she goes about her work. Her plan needs the cooperation of one person who works the shredder and one person who pushes the carts of money. The two people ... Written by
The overwhelming feeling of disappointment after walking out of this film is that this film could have been much more. The caper at the heart of "Mad Money" most closely resembles "The Inside Man", director Spike Lee's under appreciated masterpiece bank robbery film. However, the films could not be more different. Spike Lee was smart and experienced enough to know that even with a great cast and clever caper, you need a vision to bring out greatness. Mr. Lee also knew that you must choose a style.
Director Kallie Khouri, best known for writing and producing the feminist cult classic "Thelma & Louise" failed in every conceivable way
she demonstrates no eye for cinematography, a tin ear for dialogue,
no timing for pacing, no point of view, and no talent for directing actors.
"Mad Money" is based on an British caper television movie "Hot Money", produced by Granada Television. The screenplay translation to America was written by Glenn Gers, whose best known screenplay to date was "Fracture" staring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. Mr. Gers failed miserably to take any chances. A more talented writer would have created the characters from whole cloth, rather than substituting American stereotypes; in "Mad Money" there is the head-bopping early twenty-something, the black single mother in the projects, and the upper middle class desperate housewife. There is no excuse for laziness. If Mr. Gers had create real people, then perhaps he wouldn't have created characters that came out of other people's poor imagination. Writing requires an understanding of humanity and cannot be faked. The screenplay for "Mad Money" had not one shred of genuine emotion. Spare me the notion that these characters were suppose to be light and frothy drawbacks to characters like in the caper classic "Ladykillers" with Sir Alec Guinness. There were just about 3 laughs in the entire picture. If I ever was so lucky to have a cast with Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton, I'd be embarrassed that I had put such a blemish on their filmographies, by giving them so little to make great.
No comedy, no drama, no thrills, no real danger, and no romance creates no film worth watching. I wish they could have afforded Carrie Fisher to doctor this screenplay and imbue it with a glint of genuine greed or true wit or anything that would have made this film any more watchable.
I also wish that the studio would have kept Ms. Khouri in the producer's chair, and brought in a director who knew how to fix a script, bring style, rather than shoot from an anywhere goes point of view, and attempt to make something memorable.
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