One for the Money (2012) Poster

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Meets Moderate Expectations
anarresa28 January 2012
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.
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Surprisingly enjoyable despite itself
stills-615 June 2012
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.
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Ignore the Hiegl hater reviews
Sophie_KN_666151 April 2022
Warning: Spoilers
People just love to leave bad reviews for any Heigl movie because it's fashionable to hate her because she stood up to some Hollywood bullies.

Putting all that aside, this was not a bad movie. Great chemistry between the leads, good acting, good (albeit fairly recycled) storyline, good supporting actors.

I wouldn't watch it again but I did enjoy watching it.
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Decent and enjoyable
imdb-9925225 August 2020
Decent and enjoyable. She played a nice role and enjoyable to look at...
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A Nutshell Review: One for the Money
DICK STEEL27 January 2012
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.
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Why So Serious?
inspectors719 May 2016
Maybe it's because I find Katherine Heigl a woman so radiantly lovely I can't get overly concerned about her reputation for being a Satanic wart-hog diva.

I can't understand why the hostility toward One for the Money, wherein Heigl is newbie skip tracer Stephanie Plum.

I can't comprehend why a movie that has some decent soul, a good amount of humor, and captures the essence of Janet Evanovich's heroine and cast of characters is so reviled.

I can tell you that I've read a few of Evanovich's Plum books, and I didn't have trouble blending what I saw in my mind's eye with the film-maker's vision.

Since I am, at heart, a pig, I also can imagine Heigl cuffed to her shower curtain rod and it's an R-rated movie.

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Katherine Heigl is Perfect for this role
docm-323049 January 2022
I have never read the books this came from and I don't really care as this is a film review, not a "how close to the book review." I love Katerine Heigl when she does comedy as her facial expressions are hilarious. This is a fun movie and a good entertainment. Debbie Reynolds nails her role too as the grandmother and you really want to see more of her in this. I only wish that this became a franchise movie series as I want to see a sequel .
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Way more enjoyable than some of the reviews
UniqueParticle29 March 2021
Katherine Heighl and Jason Mara are so great! I love Patrick Flescher even though he's barely in it. Bounty Hunter type movies are so good/thrilling I always enjoy the adventure of trying to get a suspect. I've seen this movie years ago I forgot how much fun it is and glossy.
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I wanted to love One for the Money...I really did.
iheart_ny28 January 2012
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 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.

Grade: D-
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nogodnomasters24 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
We have been flooded with bounty hunter movies. In this film Katherine Heigl plays Stephanie Plum who becomes a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischler). The action takes place in Trenton, N.J. Her first case is Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara acting like a young Mel Gibson). He is a cop accused of murder. He also took Stephanie's virginity and never called her back. In return she hit him with her car and broke his leg.

Stephanie has no experience as a bounty hunter. This fact and her doting mother (Debra Monk) and grandmother (Debbie Reynolds) supply us with some mild humor. Plum is aided by Daniel Sunjata, who looks like he could play Derek Jeter.

The acting was fairly decent although the writing is trite with gags and bits that are old hat. In spite of that Heigl brings new life to them. Her performance is what made the film.

No f-bombs that I recall, no sex, rear male nudity.
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Not What Readers Expect
keikoasmom20 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Being a long time Stephanie Plum reader, one has to expect a movie 2 deer away from what is in your head. But just going by the descriptions in the book, some of the characters disappoint. Katherine Heigl is always good. Not quite Stephanie Plum, but funny and cute. Joe Morelli on the other hand was totally miscast. From the description, I would expect Tyler Hoechlin or Josh Duhemel- And although Rangers' actor was okay I'm not quite what I expected. Jean Carlos Canela. Well, and although I love Debbie Reynolds, Grandma Mazur was supposed to look like she was a hundred years old with tight sausage curls- kind of like the oldest lady on Golden Girls, I forget her name. She was a great old lady though. Well it's too bad didn't quite do the movie Justice.
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What a Cast...
gensbill12 July 2020
This was Debbie Reynolds' last movie but a waste of great talent including Louis Mustillo and many others.

It is alright for something running in the background or while you are reading, but not a film as the main entertainment.

I give it a 6 for the cast and, as I said, Debbie's last movie, out of respect.
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Some fun quirks and unpredictable points of view
ladyokey27 January 2012
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.
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Fun, romantic comedy action flick
shane118117 March 2021
I don't think I've seen many romantic-comedies that are also action movies. This was cute. I like Heigl as a Jersey working-class tough girl. She was totally believable and nothing like her other roles.

The dynamic between her and Morelli was fun with excellent chemistry. I kept wondering when they'd just start getting it on ...

I would think anyone could like this ... it's light and has something for everyone. Don't get me wrong; it's not high art or ground-breaking. But it's enjoyable and the resolution is satisfying.

I recommend this to stream when you just want to relax and take your mind off things. Totally worth 90 minutes of your life!
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Liked it, but could have been better.
lee_stipe31 January 2012
Warning: 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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I was disappointed
harmnegirl28 January 2012
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.
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Not One For My Money
harold_a_shaver28 January 2012
Warning: 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 filming.

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.
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Long time Stephanie Plum fan loves the movie
etienne-reynard27 January 2012
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.
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one of the best katherine heigl films
thewalkingpuns23 March 2022
I think after watching this movie its one of the overall best heigl movies iv'e seen. A good mix of action and humor at the same time. The rest of the cast were good to and it makes a change to have a film with this plot be so cheerfull and be as enjoyable as it is. Overall very good action comedy.
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No so much, but worth a watch for the eye candy treat of Katherine Heigl.
blanbrn30 January 2012
I know that Katherine doesn't exactly make the best movies around still I try to watch most of her stuff for the fact that I like her adorable looks she's sexy. Well with this recent work "One for the Money" it did please me in that aspect Katherine is the best thing about the film, and the story is okay and halfway interesting. Clearly not an awards contender still this picture is worth a feel good watch.

Set in northern New Jersey Stephanie Plum(Katherine Heigl)a newly single lady has just been cut from her job at Macy's of being a lingerie manager(wow great job!)and she starts to get behind on her rent and the next thing to go is her nice Toyota car! Now it's back into the arms of family for help, only to luck up she lands a job as a bail bond she's now looking for a few not so good men! And her number one suspect is an old high school crush now that's bad boy Joe Morelli(Jason O' Mara). Thru this film it's blended with comedy the chase and thrill of Stephanie's new job brings many laughs, yet mostly this film is driven by it's sex appeal. The most memorable scene is seeing Katherine in her sexy dark purple colored bra! Overall nothing great, yet a special appeal watch for any Katherine Heigl fan.
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My opinion only...
v_ady292 March 2012
I didn't read the book, but I found this movie to be quite good and amusing. There were some parts of the movie where they could have done better, but I didn't have high expectancies about the movie... Now, after watching it, I realize that I liked it a lot and I was laughing all the time... Katherine Heigl, who played Stephanie Plum, did her job very well, even though the director was not so good... She promises to be an excellent actress if she can find a good role... Jason O'Mara is the archetype of the "american cop went bad", tough, but who can be melted by a determined woman... The worked well together, the result was better than I expected and the movie might be a good way to relax.I was disappointed by John Leguizamo, who is a great actor and who started playing in second hand movies. I don't understand why... On the other hand, I was surprised by Debbie Reynolds, who stared as Grandma Mazur and who was a breath of fresh air in the movie, with a lot of humor and cynicism, she was one of my favorite characters in the movie. If you don't have great expectancies from this movie, you will find it amusing and, maybe, you will relax for 91 minutes...
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two for the dough
thisanant23 January 2018
I try to watch Katherine Heigl's movies so that was my first reason and I love comedies . this is pretty funny movie , fully focused on Heigl , simple story , some mystery and nice looking settings .
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Total Mess
claudio_carvalho29 July 2013
In New Jersey, the newly-divorced Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) is a complete loser. She lost her job in Macy's and has no money to pay her bills. Her mother tells her that her cousin, who has a bail-bond business, is hiring a person to help him. Stephanie gets the position of recovery agent and is assigned to catch her former boyfriend Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara) that is a cop accused of executing a drug dealer. Stephanie finds Joe and he claims that he is innocent and was framed. She tries to find evidences that he is innocent and evolves with very dangerous people.

"One for the Money" is a total mess, lost between a comedy and a thriller. The heavy hand of director Julie Anne Robinson makes a movie unfunny and violent for a comedy and silly for a thriller. I bought this DVD on sale because of the name of Katherine Heigl, who is miscast in the role of a bounty hunter and can not save this movie, and I was completely disappointed. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Como Agarrar Meu Ex-Namorado" ("How to Catch My Ex- Boyfriend")
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Fun film
tandrasmiklos11 March 2012
First of I just learned that this film was based on a novel, and that it's the first of like 23 stories about this woman bountyhunter. So my viewpoint is based on the film, and nothing else.

I had a lot of fun with this one. It reminded me of an other character from an entirely different novel series. There the tough girl is called Anita Blake and she is a vampire hunter. Same way she starts clumsy and comes out on top in a manly (albeit fantastic) occupation. She handles guns, she gets into rough situations. I'm a man, but it's still fun seeing a woman being tough. And similarly to Anita Blake, this girl stays a woman while being though.

All the other characters were great too, my favourite was Ranger I guess, I liked the professional attitude.

To all those who think it's a bad film because it's not like the novels: I haven't read those books, but I was entertained with this film. I may even read into those books, so I guess the film reached it's goal.
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I had a pretty good time watching One for the Money
tavm18 July 2012
Just watched this on Netflix disc with my mom. I had to admit, I wasn't looking forward to watching this when I first watched a trailer back in January. The comedy to me seemed frantic and I don't think I was crazy seeing Katherine Heigl doing a Jersey accent. Having now seen the entire thing, I don't think this movie was too bad. Sherri Shepherd as Lulu was good for some laughs and Debbie Reynolds as the grandma was also pretty amusing. And I did get caught up in the plot so that was good. And Jason O'Mara as this cop who previously was Stephanie Plum's (Heigl's character) first time that she was intent on getting even with was also pretty good. So overall, One for the Money wasn't a bad film to watch. Maybe one of these days, I'll watch it again...
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