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
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Directed by Callie Khouri (best known for writing the famous Ridely Scott film "Thelma & Louise"), Mad Money tells the story of three women working at the Kansas Federal Reserve Bank (though the movie was shot in Louisiana) who work out a system to steal money that is about to be shredded. Obviously, stuff happens.
Mad Money is far from being the best heist film out there. Recent efforts such as After The Sunset, The Italian Job, The Thomas Crown Affair, Entrapment or The Ladykillers are all much cooler. But just as Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's" series is extremely overrated, this widely panned film is quite underrated. Actually, though it is central to the plot, the movie doesn't really focus on the heist element that much preferring to stick with character interactions and light comedy. Here also it's far from the funniest movie out there, but the humor is pleasant and harmless.
The acting is pretty good all around. Diane Keaton is certainly better here than in her horrible performance in the previous year's Because I Said So, and while some may find baffling that Katie Holmes chose this over The Dark Knight, she certainly does a better job here at playing a ditz than her uselessness in Batman Begins. Who knows? Maybe she just doesn't like Batman, maybe she wanted a role that would center more on her, maybe she just loves Thelma & Louise and is willing to have a lower paycheck, which, being married to Tom Cruise, she can totally afford to do. Queen Latifah is her usual self and it's always cool to see Ted Danson and Christopher McDonald (even if it's little more than a glorified cameo).
The movie has flaws yes, and shouldn't really show up on anyone's top 10 or top 200 list. The flashback narration doesn't really work that well and the ending is pretty ludicrous, but what the hell it's just a movie folks. I don't think anyone involved in the making of Mad Money declared that this movie will radically change your views on life. It's just simple harmless entertainment, something pleasant to watch if you stumble upon it.
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