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“One for the Money” Is Mediocre Fun

Let me preface this review by saying that I am not a Katherine Heigl fan. I can’t exactly say why, but I can’t look at the woman without thinking heinous bitch.

That being said, the trailer for “One for the Money,” and the fact that I really enjoy the Janet Evanovich book series the film is based on, sucked me in. And I wasn’t horribly disappointed … too much.

Heigl stars as Stephanie Plum, an out-of-work lingerie saleswoman turned bail enforcement agent in New Jersey. Her first case, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), is a falsely accused cop she went to high school with. (Also, she ran him over with her car when he didn’t call her after an … intimate night together.) Even with bounty hunter lessons from Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), Stephanie gets in a little over her head while trying to apprehend Joe and clear his name.

There is lots of humor in Evanovich’s books that the movie failed to capture. The best moments are in the trailer and the rest of the movie is mediocre, though harmless. Fans of the source material will be disappointed.

I really like the character of Stephanie Plum and, my own personal feelings about the “actress” aside, I don’t feel that Heigl did her justice. Stephanie, as much as she wants to be, is not a badass recovery agent. She’s smart and resourceful, but lucky more than anything else.

If one day I decided that I wanted to be a bounty hunter, I imagine it’d be something like what happens to Stephanie. She has no clue what she’s doing, keeps her gun in the cookie jar, and gets herself handcuffed to her own shower rod.

Heigl’s performance felt forced and, like her New Jersey accent, too heavy-handed. In contrast to O’Mara (“Terra Nova”) and his Morelli which was more natural. There was a lightness in his character. Sherri Shepherd, as Stephanie’s informant Lula, also interjects some much needed humor into the story.

The entire film needed a lighter feeling. Yes, there’s crime and guns and death, but it’s in a fun way. It’s more about the awkwardness and absurdity of how Stephanie to the situations she finds herself in than the seriousness of them. The cinematography kept things bright and happy where the script failed to.

“One for the Money” is kinda like a candy bar (that Stephanie would keep in her glove compartment next to her Beretta), a bright shiny wrapper filled with unfulfilling fluff you know isn’t good for you. It’s a fun movie, and though it doesn’t call for any deep-thinking, it’s not going to kill you either. My advice: watch the trailer and read the book!

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