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The current score of this movie is 4 and unless you are a devoted fan
of the books that's harsh. If you are in love with the twenty or so
books you must have known less than two hours worth of movie will never
compare, ever. I sympathize, beloved books are difficult to put on
film, but this was actually rather amusing. On par with most romantic
comedies and even better than some. It's not actually a romantic comedy
though, an outlandish-girly-action-mystery-comedy is a more accurate
description. The previews are representative of the film.
I will say the PG-13 rating was forced, mostly in the "language" category. Cable TV after 10 pm has more bite. An R rating with a few swearing felons would have been a bit more realistic, especially since the sexual situations are more than a 13-year-old should be watching and the storyline definitely adult. The writers must have sacrificed 10 swears for 3 bras and a shower curtain or something equally un-creative.
The comedy was there, sexual and self-deprecating and physical as advertised. On opening weekend (with the $6 groupon) the theater was full and the audience was seated throughout and laughing regularly.
Eavesdropping, the book fans were a little disappointed but mostly because they know so much more about the characters at this point. They wanted more Lula and Grandma and quirky little side scenes they remembered from the novel. Katherine Heigl was not loved as Stephanie Plum, but not hated enough to curse. Expectations were met.
I will agree it wasn't worth $11.25, but a lot of movies aren't. As a matinée or a DVD, go for it.
This adaptation of Janet Evanivich's book is well done and a lot of
fun. Katherine Heigl is excellent in the role of Stephanie Plum.
Apparently the author considered Katherine perfect for this role after
seeing her in another movie. I'm so glad it was directed by a woman and
combines the chick flick aspect with the mystery/bounty hunter
storyline. Women's dates will be well rewarded, by Heigl's charm and
beauty, for being along for the ride.
Heigl proves again what she showed in her television work in Grey's Anatomy and Roswell, that she's an excellent and versatile actress. She displays the vulnerability combined with toughness and a certain likable gullibility that are exactly as the book portrays the main character.
The movie is only 91 minutes long. Since the book and the movie depend more on the fun of getting to know the characters, including the first-person narrator, Stephanie Plum, it would have been so easy, and would have made it much better IMO, to include more scenes with the family, especially Grandma Mazur (Debbie Reynolds!), and with Lula (Sherri Shepherd is also wonderful). As it is, the "action" plot takes over in the second half, and it left me wishing for more of the fun character interactions.
Plum, Morelli and Ranger are really well portrayed and quite a lot like I imagined them while reading the book. This is light entertainment with a few quirks and unpredictable points of view, like the book, and overall a very enjoyable hour and a half.
I wanted to love "One for the Money", and I should have. It had
fantastic source material, a writer from one of my favorite shows
("Nurse Jackie"), and an actress from what used to be one of my
favorite shows ("Grey's Anatomy"), but this film could not have been
any more disastrous. There was a movie that I hated a few years ago
called "The Bounty Hunter", with Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. I
felt like that film was as contrived as could be, and was unfunny,
unromantic and incredibly unconvincing. I hate to say that "One for the
Money fell into that same ball park.
One of the reasons why I love the book, "One for the Money", by Janet Evanovich is because its heart, Stephanie Plum was an unapologetic badass, profane and saucy. I always pictured someone like Sandra Bullock playing the lead role, a born-and-raised Jersey girl who was down on her luck, who finds her inner badass through a series of misadventures, but ultimately comes out on top in the end.
I don't necessarily blame Katherine Heigl for ruining this movie. She did the best she could, even though her Jersey accent is laughably bad. She was simply miscast. She should have never discontinued her work on "Grey's Anatomy, because if these are the kinds of roles she's getting, her future's only going to get worse.
Julie Ann Robinson ("The Last Song") directed, who I blame for the movie's obviously unclear vision. You get the idea that she didn't know what she wanted this movie to be. Maybe she thought that after all of the books that had been written, fans don't remember the first chapter of the franchise. Did she and the rest of the filmmakers intend this to be a film franchise as well? You get the idea that no one really cared, given the film's messy ending and sitcom-y writing.
Liz Brixius (Nurse Jackie), Karen McCullah Lutz (Legally Blonde) and Kristen Smith (The Ugly Truth) are responsible for the travesty of a screenplay. Women ARE funny. There have been so many funny and smart movies that had primarily female writers, actors and directors, so why does this film seem misogynist? It's a mixed message, and an implication that I really don't like. Their version of Stephanie Plum is an idiot. She's not a saucy badass, like the one I loved in the books. Her profanity is turned down, too, because of the meaningless desire that the filmmakers must have had to get a PG-13 rating. Why would kids want to see this movie? Oh, of course...Katherine Heigl's inevitable "sideboob".
I enjoy the work of Liz Brixius, considering that she is the creator of one of my favorite shows, "Nurse Jackie". She has shown over the years that she knows how to properly illustrate complicated characters. She is not beyond character development, and making characters fully realized...so what went wrong here? Why didn't she scream at the other two writers, "what the hell are you doing?!"
I can only imagine how bad true fans of the books felt about this travesty. There are eighteen Stephanie Plum novels, plus short stories, novellas and crossovers. People clearly like this character, and there have got to be a bunch of true fans out there. The first book was written in 1994, and there was talk of a movie then. It had been in development hell since then, and it's a shame to say that it probably should have stayed there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was partially filmed in my home town so there was a natural
curiosity to see the finished product after watching portions of the
I am going to try and give a basic review without adding spoilers for those who have followed the book series or my fellow neighbors that will be compelled to see this film.
There was a lot of potential with the story line. The acting by Debbie Reynolds and the street-walkers were the acting highlights. The lead actress (Heigl) was disconnected from the role, the lead male(O'Mara) was not utilized fully by the director? screen play?. The villains non-threatening and lacking ( John Leguizamo could have made a much needed positive impact on the film if they would have actually given him more than two scenes).
Overall the movie misses in the following ways: 1) Heigl was not convincing in the lead role. She was flat and failed to develop any interest or depth in character. 2) The plot was so predictable it was not even deserving of a place on a Made FOR TV line schedule. 3) I did not care for any of the characters nor the entanglements they were in.
The plus side:
1) Debbie Reynolds was great! 2) Sherri Sheperd ....great!
I would wait for this film to come to late night television so you could at least enjoy those extended length infomercials between bits of the movie.
If you haven't read the book you MIGHT like the movie. If you've read
and loved the books this movie leaves a lot to be desired.
I suppose the MAIN part of the plot is the same but the details are scrambled or in some cases completely left out. Maybe I'm in the minority but a lot of the really funny stuff in the book was in the details and these parts got lost in the translation to the big screen. There was nothing too extreme in the book that might not have fit in the PG-13 rating so why did they change so many things? It was like the added more dialog in places and took out the fun and exciting stuff. Time shouldn't have been the reason either because the movie ran only an hour and a half - if they'd gone for two they could have had a much better (and closer to the book) adaptation.
I didn't care for the casting. Lula, Connie, and Vinnie matched the book descriptions of the characters fairly well but everyone else was off. It was like the casting director didn't read the book.
I'm disappointed because I had high hopes for the movie. I won't be buying the DVD or going to any sequels. Really, I think they'd have been better off to cast all unknowns that FITTED the characters and stuck to the plot from the book - it would have had a better shot.
The trailer would remind you of the forgettable The Bounty Hunter
starring Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston with the former being the
titular character whose target happens to be his ex-wife, having them
bicker and run from various misadventures together. Reverse the roles
in order to have a female bounty hunter going after an ex-boyfriend,
and the stage is set for more of the same, no? Not quite. One for the
Money has a lot more going for it, predominantly being a film written
by and made by females for its intended audience, and being an engaging
flick chick that wonderfully encapsulates a whodunnit.
Katherine Heigl seems to be on a successful roll on celluloid, and is in her element here in this romantic action adventure comedy as lead character Stephanie Plum, a rookie bounty hunter drawn to the profession only because she's desperate for a job to pay off impending bills. An ex-lingerie model, we follow her transition from girly girl to a somewhat tough cookie ready to hold her own in her cousin's business, where an added incentive is to hunt down and bring in her ex-boyfriend Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara), a cop wanted for the gunning down an unarmed felon.
Yes one would expect the usual laughs coming from her inexperience in a new field, her constantly being outwitted by slier opponents in the big bad town of Trenton, New Jersey, and having that pitch perfect sexual charisma with her mark since they share a common romantic history before in their youths. But to my surprise One for the Money has a little bit more depth in its story than I would have imagined, playing out like a mystery with a crime at hand to solve, with Stephanie stumbling her way from fact to fact, interacting with various interesting caricatures who don't bore, and plays out exactly like an 80s private detective film of old in spirit.
Written by Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray and Liz Brixius off the well received novel of the same name by Janet Evanovich, this probably accounts for a lot of female-centric focus on elements in the storyline, as well as director Julie Anne Robinson's ability to center this very much like a chick flick, wrapped around an old fashioned whodunnit. I mean, only in a story with an attractive female protagonist would you have other females in the story either old, or matronly, and having not one but two hunks - Morelli and fellow alpha-male bounty hunter Ranger (Daniel Sunjata) - involved at the crossroads of her life. Plenty of characterization goes into the lead character of Stephanie Plum, and Heigl brings a certain sass to the role, with little street smarts that cover for her lack of experience in the field.
Granted the mystery doesn't quite play out with that kind of tension and suspense as one would expect from a true blur genre film, but it does enough with its slight touch and managed to keep interest afloat. While there are 18 novels to date in the series of Stephanie Plum's adventures in bounty hunting, with each novel title starting with a number / numerically related, reality is that any subsequent film will have to rely on how much this makes at the box office. My bet is that it'll likely be something quite modest with a potential of 17 more films made only if Heigl wants to be stereotyped (if not already) or typecast. Still, One for the Money sits above average on the entertainment scale, and can be recommended fare if you'd give it a chance.
I just saw the movie. I admit, I do not go to the movie theatre very
often, but this was worth the money. It is a soft comedy movie and I
thought both the script and the delivery were performed very well. My
wife (who read the book series) thought that Carlos (the ranger) should
have been hotter. I thought he delivered the role convincingly. If you
are expecting a Bruce Willis action flick-this is not it. If you are
expecting Jenna Elfman, you will be out of luck. Kathrine played it
straight and to the point. The pace was rapid and the scenes were
captured realistically (good editing.) The events in the movie are
engineered to appeal to the ladies. It did. My wife really liked the
film. I admit, I enjoyed it. I would recommend this film.
Congratulations to the cast and crew. This film is one in the win column and will no doubt be shown repeatedly on TV in the future with audiences taking time to watch it again and again.
One for the Money reviewed 9 out of 10 bags of popcorn.
Having read all eighteen of the Stephanie Plum books, a few of them more than once, it is safe to say that I am a big fan of the series, even though SP16 was a little disappointing and SP17 was a huge letdown. In any case, I went to the multiplex with a clear vision in my mind of how the characters should look, act and interact. This is the first movie that I've actually gone to a theater to see in at least two years. Sadly, the director seems to belong to what I call the 'mumble school of filmmaking', and the dialogue was very hard to follow at times. And no, that's not just my aged ears reacting because the forty-three-year-old I saw it with had a hard time hearing it as well. Best of all, we are in Orlando at the moment, with some dead time on our hands, and went to an early bird special for $5 per head. These days that's a bargain.
The movie worked. The chemistry between Plum and Morelli was obvious on screen. Morelli had a nice lithe but tightly muscular body with a well-proportioned butt. Too bad about those disgusting tattoos, but that too, was probably in character. Lula the street 'ho' was perfectly cast, as were Stephanie's cousin Vinnie and the girl in the bail bond office who Janet Evanovich describes as carrying most of her weight in her chest. Stephanie's parents were well done, and Debbie Reynolds was a pleasant surprise as Grandma Mazur. I'd always pictured Grandma as sort of wizened and shriveled (sort of like the Nanny's grandmother), and Reynolds at a couple of months shy of eighty didn't quite fit my preconceived image. That being said Reynolds has a flair for comedy, and it worked. The only disappointment was the casting of Ranger, hence the one bag deduction. Ranger was believable, but a little too personable, and maybe even a tad too verbose. Ranger in the books didn't talk a lot, and could put a whole sentence into one word when he looked at Stephanie and said, "Babe." The characters sounded like New Jersey residents and the row houses they lived in looked authentic.
Oh, and the 1953 Buick that Stephanie frequently borrows from the family is now a huge Buick from the 70s or 80s, but that worked quite nicely.
My partner and I are both looking forward to the next Stephanie Plum movie, assuming this one does well enough at the box office to justify the production.
Very enjoyable light entertainment. A crime story that revolves around
a clueless but persistent woman. The crime itself isn't all that
important, and the focus is not on the narrative drive forward (which
is good because it's kinda predictable). The focus is instead on the
character of the female lead. Oddly, it's not about her growing as a
character, or even about her getting more and more confident about her
chosen line of work. It's not even about proving herself to everyone
that she is capable.
The story is about persistence, about how this character is somehow ideally suited for this situation, but just lacks the knowledge to be truly successful.
If this wasn't such a light and airy movie, I would suspect that it was a metaphor for living in the age of the Internet, where knowledge is a commodity and anyone who has access to specific areas of knowledge can be an expert. Alas, it's a little less than that.
Unfortunately for the movie, the lack of character depth and the cumbersome box-like production make it seem very TV-ish. Like this was the pilot episode of a series. It also suffers from useless-narrator syndrome. I didn't read the book, but I suspect the source material may share some of the blame for that via lazy exposition.
Speaking from a guy's point of view about what is essentially a chick movie, it doesn't hurt that Heigl is hot, has a nice smile, and can handle a gun. And is a pretty good actress, sure, yeah... that. The casting could have been a lot worse. I would watch Heigl in just about anything if she stayed brunette.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a fan of the book series, I was slightly disappointed with the movie. I liked it a lot, but felt they didn't do all the characters justice. Steph was fine, quite a bit better than I was expecting from Katherine. Joe was very good, liked him a lot. Vinny was better than I thought that actor would be, even though it is funny that I had thought of Fisher Stevens for Vinny, and what do you know, he is in the film as another character. Connie was good, Lula was good, Steph's parents were pretty good as well. Now I am going to be a bit critical, it is a review you know, Ranger was only OK, no pony-tail, not as dark and brooding as the book relays. He smiled way too much! Any smile from Ranger should speak volumes! Grandma Mazur; I love Debbie Reynolds, but she didn't quite capture the little old lady. Benito Ramirez was nowhere near as fear inducing, brutal monster as he should have been. I think the movie would have been much better over all if they went for an R rating, rather than fluffing it up a bit to be PG-13. My biggest complaint, as a "car guy", is Big Blue. You mean to tell me they couldn't find an appropriate 50s Buick?! The point of the car is to represent something that most of the men who see it appreciate it, but the women don't get it. A 70s Buick, really irked me!!! All in all a good movie, 3.5 stars from us!! Look forward to the continuing series!!
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