Review: One for the Money

Based on the novel by Jane Evanovich, ONE FOR THE MONEY follows the crazy adventures of an unemployed sales clerk turned bounty hunter. When she takes a job to bring in an ex-boyfriend, she finds her new career to be harder than it looks. It gets especially complicated when her search leaves a bunch of dead bodies in their wake. Uh oh, what’s a Jersey girl to do? If you are like the character in this flick, you would probably just make a series of moronic decisions, like leading the bad guys right to your door.

Funny, I walked into a theatre and for some reason they were showing a really bad pilot for a series on Lifetime. Oh wait… it’s another Katherine Heigl movie! ONE FOR THE MONEY is based on the novel written by Jane Evanovich and it might have made for a decent quirky weekly series – as there are a series of books based on this character. Nope, that is not the case as we are stuck with the cinematic adventures of an unemployed lingerie sales clerk who becomes a bounty hunter. Stephanie Plum is the character and Heigl is the actress bringing it to the silver screen. While MONEY is slightly better than the painfully awful Heigl flick KILLERS, it is definitely a disaster of a feature film.

Let’s keep things in perspective, the plot is ludicrous but that doesn’t necessarily make this a bad movie. The story of an oddball Jersey girl who blackmails her way into a bounty hunter job could have worked, but it doesn’t. If only the script (credited to Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray and Liz Brixius) and the direction by Julie Anne Robinson had a little focus, and maybe some heart. This is not the case however as this is a lazy and tedious misadventure that fails to deliver much of a laugh, smile or even a smirk.

You see, after Stephanie Plum gets her new career opportunity, she takes on a job tracking down an ex-cop named Joe Morelli whom she used to date. It seems that Morelli (Jason O’Mara) was accused of shooting an unarmed suspect, but he is dreamy – and worth a ton of money which she needs – so who the hell cares. Surprisingly, Heigl and O’Mara are a much better on-screen match than she and Ashton Kutcher in KILLERS. Of course O’Mara is a much better actor than the new “Two and a Half Men” star. That doesn’t exactly make things right however as the lame story predictably follows the basic romantic comedy formula 101. There is not a moment you would think things would go anywhere than the obvious. Ironically enough, it might have been a better match for Plum to get involved with another bounty hunter named Ranger (Daniel Sunjata) who her narration describes as “Michelangelo’s David dipped in caramel.” Yep, that is the kind of dialogue we are dealing with here.

Speaking of dialogue, the film seemingly stays mostly true to the book with the help of using Plum’s narration. However Heigl yapping about her situation only made her even more infuriatingly dense. For a film written and directed by women, it really makes the fairer sex seem useless and dim. This feels like a bit of an insult to women in general. Even the legendary Debbie Reynolds is used to excruciatingly bad lengths for the sake of a little humor. Nobody could make her dialogue funny. Even the highlight of having her playing with Stephanie’s gun during family dinner is nowhere near cute or humorous as it wanted to be. In the name of Betty White, not every single older celebrity has to play dumb grandma! Stop it!

I don’t hate Katherine Heigl, she just makes really frustratingly bad choices post KNOCKED UP. Hell, with ONE FOR THE MONEY she is even credited as executive producer, so you can’t say that she was doing this because it was the only offer. If she only just said no to these cutesy romantic comedies with hints of action, she might be charming. Maybe she should find an edgy independent film and not play the same annoying character that she always plays. However this is simply another Katherine Heigl action comedy. ONE FOR THE MONEY is neither edgy, interesting, or for that matter watchable. Maybe it will please a few Heigl enthusiasts, but for everybody else you should avoid at all costs.

Review: One for the Money




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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.