One for the Money Julie Anne Robinson

One for the Money Julie Anne Robinson
On paper, One for the Money shouldn't be that bad. It's the Hollywood adaptation of the bestselling novel by Janet Evanovich, also called One for the Money, which sold millions of copies worldwide and spawned more than 20 sequels. The film, which is only "based on" the book, stars Katherine Heigl as Evanovich's Stephanie Plum character and Jason O'Mara as on the lam cop Joe Morelli. The direction is handled by Julie Anne Robinson, whose last project was the big-screen adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' bestseller, The Last Song, which starred Miley Cyrus. However, assuming those details are all virtues, One for the Money sullies itself rather quickly: as soon as we meet the characters. Let's see, there's an Italian cop, a Mexican trainer who doubles as a two-timing murderer, two African-American prostitutes, an African-American psychopath athlete, an Asian-American tea-head and, of course, the main white characters. Oh yeah, and all old people are crazy ― they either get naked or shoot guns haphazardly. It takes a fine-toothed comb to sift through such complex stereotypes, but despite its flaws, and the sliding ratings scale such a film necessitates, One for the Money actually develops into a pretty cool little murder mystery. Stephanie Plum (Heigl) is a divorcee who's going belly-up in the small town of Trenton, NJ, where everyone knows everyone. While at her parents' house for dinner, which is a nightly thing, Stephanie's eccentric grandma suggests she go into business with her cousin Vinny, who tried to kiss her at her wedding. Vinny does bail bonds and pretty soon he has Stephanie on a case that's way out of her league. She's going after ex-cop/accused murderer Joe Morelli, who also happens to be the guy who stole Stephanie's virginity, or as they say in Trenton, "bought her a cannoli." Notwithstanding some minor racial quips, things turn around pretty quickly for One for the Money. In terms of special features, there is a standard behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast and crew, as well as an even more fascinating featurette on female bondswomen, "Bond Girls: Kicking Ass in the Bail Bonds Industry." The latter is well worth your time, as is the short but sweet gag reel. (eOne)