One for the Money Reviews
Nate's Grade: C
I thought Katherine Heigl did a good job as Stephanie. Having read the book, I think she got her across well.
I think this movie didn't do so well, so doubt there will be more, though it has renewed my interest in reading more of the series. The book has good characters, as does the movie, which is why I think the flat story works okay.
Not a bad adaptation.
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Summary: Janet Evanovich's spunky heroine, Stephanie Plum, is adrift after getting a divorce and losing her job. To make ends meet, she becomes a bounty hunter, with her first big case revolving around a high school boyfriend who may be falsely accused.
My Thoughts: "An OK movie. I thought it had some good moments, but not enough. Funny in some spots and cheesy in others. But I think Katherine Heigl did the character Stephanie Plum justice. But the problem with the movie is that it dragged in more ways then one. Some of the characters were annoying and it got to be a bit slow. So not great but not awful either. Kat and Jason O'Mara had great chemistry on screen so that made it fun. But nothing too great to get me to come back and watch this a second time around."
Not so great. The movie is kinda boring and the plot really is nothing to die for. This is not Katherine Heigl best film and I think her status as an actress is going downhill and i'm not talking about her beauty.
Jersey girl Stephanie Plum after losing her job, is broke. Needing a job she is told that her cousin, a bail bondsman, needs someone to help out in the office. But all he has are skip tracers. She learns that Joe Morelli, a guy she knew intimately years ago, is one of them. She eventually finds him but wasn't really prepared so he gets away. Another bounty hunter, Ranger tries to teach her. Eventually she finds him again but he claims he is innocent of the crime he is accused of and he is trying to prove his innocence. Eventually Stephanie thinks he's telling the truth so she stakes out the person who can help him but she only finds herself in trouble and Morelli saves her. She tries to find someone who can prove his innocence but problem is shortly after meeting with them they're killed or attacked.
"One for the Money" is not quite the end of civilization you may have heard it was. Admittedly, it is uneven, staying on the silly and broad end of the spectrum, but not so much as to end up as caricature. While Katherine Heigl is no Rosalind Russell, she is still an appealing presence, heading a likable cast that has fun with the material. The movie is not entirely mindless either as it is about a woman trying to prove herself by trying to separate herself from her past, operating on familiar turf, while learning from her mistakes along the way.(Plus, Stephanie wears a Rangers shirt.) See, not everybody gets to be Mallory Kane right off the bat.
Another big problem is that some cast members seem like they were miscast. Katherine Heigl is definitely miscast here. She has no on screen chemistry with Jason O'Mara. I think Reese Witherspoon would have done a better job in that role. I also think O'Mara was miscast. I think Bradley Cooper would have done a better job in that role. On a positive, there is some great supporting work here from Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Debbie Reynolds, and Fisher Stevens.
In the movie, Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) is out of work and out of cash and in desperation turns to her disreputable cousin Vinnie, of Vinnie's Bail Bonds, for work. Of course, like in a movie, despite having no equipment, training or particular skill she becomes a bail enforcement agent, chasing after Vinnie's highest stakes bail jumper: Joe Morelli, a former vice cop who is wanted for murder, who also happened to seduce and dump Stephanie back in high school. Now, I can see the appeal of the story for the audience which left the high school and did most of the waitressing jobs for the last 5-6 years without having a boyfriend and blaming the high-school sweetheart for ruining the "good life", but if you're not in that category, please, skip this one!
One For the Money was the first novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and it is a long-time best-seller, appearing for 75 consecutive weeks on the USA Today list of 150 best-selling novels, peaking at number 59... and this movie is nothing like it! Katherine Heigl is so talented and I am saddened that she decided to waste that huge potential on a movie which will have you groaning between yawns.
In her latest, this PG-13-rated adventure, a down-on-her-luck Jersey girl named Stephanie Plum (Heigl) convinces her sleazy bail bondsman cousin to give her a job as a bounty hunter, which leads her into an investigation involving a vice cop wanted for murder (O'Hara)-an ex who broke her heart years before.
Katherine Heigl is good at some roles...it's just that this reviewer hasn't seen them yet. In her defense, the lines, laughs, and lucre are too heavy-handed even for Meryl Streep to bail the material out. Having Irishman O'Mara (great on ABC's cancelled oddity Life on Mars, here...not so much) play wronged Italian cop Morelli doesn't help matters much. Of course, when an actor makes a dated reference by calling his sparring partner "cupcake," it's hardly his fault alone. Director Julie Anne Robinson and her 3 (count them--3!) screenwriters are unable to re-capture the magic that has sustained the popularity of Evanovich's Plum for 18 novels.
Bottom line: Dog of a bounty hunter.