One for the Money (2012)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 27, 2012 (USA)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Tracie Cooper

Based on author Janet Evanovich's best-selling series of novels, One for the Money follows the adventures of Jersey girl and unemployed lingerie saleswoman Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) after she convinces her sketchy cousin (Patrick Fischler), a bail bondsman, to give her a job as a bounty hunter. No, really, a bounty hunter. Despite her total lack of any (ANY) bounty-hunting experience, Stephanie is determined to find and capture the elusive Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara), who, in addition to being a murderous police officer with a $50,000 bond on his head, broke Stephanie's heart back in high school.

Sadly, Katherine Heigl (who also helped produce the film) can't pull off a Jersey accent, let alone portray a character like Stephanie Plum, and she's surrounded by bland actors spouting dialogue such as, "we're ancient history, like the pyramids, baby!" She would be the best actor by default had she done anything besides make sarcastic quips at every opportunity, including one after shooting a man to death. Granted, no one wants to watch their sassy heroine suffer from PTSD. It's not that kind of movie. The film, like the book, is clearly intended to be funny, sexy, and not the least bit realistic. There's nothing wrong with that. The problem is that the film, unlike the book, isn't funny and isn't sexy. Without those elements, suspending one's disbelief is a lot more difficult.

The supporting characters suffer a similar fate. From the hooker with a heart of gold (Sherri Shepherd) to the eccentric yet loveable grandmother (Debbie Reynolds), the cast do little more than deliver one mildly snarky one-liner after the next. The romance is forgettable (seriously, I almost forgot to write about it), although Jason O'Mara does the best job he can with the material he has to work with.

As long as Evanovich continues writing novels, Stephanie Plum will continue to kick ass and take names. Unfortunately for One for the Money, however, the buck stops here.