One For the Money

WARNING:  THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN IN ONE SHOT WITH ZERO EDITING.  IT IS A STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS REVIEW BECAUSE THE FILM WASN’T EVEN GOOD ENOUGH TO WARRANT PROPER EDITING.

It’s little secret that nobody here at The Fandom Menace cares much for Katherine Heigl.  On screen, she acts as though a little feigned vulnerability makes up for her brash, egotistical and annoying behavior and, if rumors or true, it isn’t an act.  She rushed to escape the shackles of a successful television series (Grey’s Anatomy, ever heard of it?) in order to launch a successful film career but thus far, all she has given us is lackluster would-be romantic comedies that fail to deliver an audience.  There’s a reason she went from co-starring with Gerard Butler to Ashton Kutcher to Josh Duhamel to…whoever Jason O’Mara is.  Its a steady and obvious fall from grace.  With One For The Money, Katherine Heigl takes a cue from another failed TV-turned-cinema actress (looking at you Aniston) and plays the part of a down on her luck girl who takes a job as a bounty hunter only to find her first job to be….DUN DUN DUN… her ex.  So was Heigl’s latest attempt a step forward any better then her previous efforts?

No.  Not at all.  One for the Money?  Skip it.  Why?  Well, lets get into it, shall we?

Lets start first with the basic story.  Katherine Heigl plays Stephanie Plum, a jobless recent divorce who lands a gig at her cousin’s bail-bond business.  When looking through the files for her first case, she spots Joe Morelli (O’Mara), an ex she ran down with a car for not calling after he took her virginity over a decade ago.  Plum is admittedly one to hold grudges so even though he is a cop wanted for the off-duty murder of a heroine dealer and suspected to be armed and extremely dangerous, she decides to make Morelli her first case.  Unarmed and without any classes or understanding of the nature of being a bounty hunter, she follows Morelli’s cousin to his hideout where she finds Morelli and, without even a pair of handcuffs, demands that Morelli go with her to the police station.  Predictably, she fails and so her cousin hooks her up with Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), a skilled bounty hunter who she calls throughout the film for advice and who also buys her a five-shot Smith & Wesson that magically fires anywhere from seven to fifteen shots without requiring a reload.  No, thats not cleverness, thats reality.  We counted.  On top of which, she never gets a carry permit even though she spends a significant amount of time flashing it in the presence of police officers throughout the film.  Apparently, having rounded teeth and claiming to be a bounty hunter means laws no longer apply to you.

My, thats a big gun. Wanna be my boyfriend?

Needless to say, Stephanie bumbles her way from bad stereotype to bad stereotype (the black hookers, the overly violent latino MMA fighter, John Leguizamo, etc) trying to track down Morelli.  The problem in this is that Morelli spends the entire movie following her in order to save her if she gets into too much trouble which she inevitably does due to the nature of her search.  But, true to form, Stephanie is too stupid to notice that he shows up whenever she’s in danger and so she steals his car to “draw him out,” and credits herself for being the brilliant bounty hunter she is.  Morelli isn’t much brighter however, as he actually shows up to take back his SUV instead of just calling in to the police claiming to be a “concerned citizen” who saw Morelli driving around town in his car which would lead the police to her doorstep and a grand theft auto charge.  Oh, right.  Forgot.  Laws don’t apply to Katherine Heigl.  Eventually, she starts to put together that Morelli is innocent of the charges and the two decide to team up to find the truth and prove his innocence all while falling in love.

You look tough. Wanna be my boyfriend? Plus, Im in a skirt. Bounty hunters wear skirts, right?

But the real problem isn’t in the plot, it’s in the execution.  First off, I don’t know who told Katherine Heigl that a weird mix of insecure and bitchy equals cute.  It doesn’t.  All it does is make her come off as incredibly vapid and annoying….and bitchy.  Steph is supposed to be our charming guide in this “fish out of water” tale about a lingerie department manager becoming a bounty hunter, but she only comes off as grating.  Also, I don’t understand why she would be doing her “aren’t I cute” act when dealing with a hooker who was just brutally beaten.  It seems like those are the moments you drop whatever face you put on publicly and get real.  Instead, she asks us to giggle and gush over how cute she is… which she isn’t.

Hi, police? I'm carrying an unregistered weapon. Wanna be my boyfriend?

Secondly, this film is, like most of Heigl’s film, incredibly sexist.  As the illegitimate son of Ron Swanson, I don’t particularly pay attention to gender biases in entertainment, but One for the Money was just plain offensive.  What makes it even worse is that it was written, directed and produced by women.  Inexplicably, Heigl has a long running theme in her movies that if you are a woman, all you really need to do is find a man who knows what he’s doing and ask him to do all the work then attempt to take all the credit.  For the first half of the movie, she relies heavily on Ranger and for the second half, she falls back on Morelli.  The really sad thing is that Stephanie Plum (and no doubt Heigl herself) believe themselves to be tough self-reliant women.  After all, she’s a bounty hunter.  That must mean she’s a badass, right?  Nevermind the fact that the only thing she really does on her own in this movie is deliver a naked old man who lives in the building to the police.

Can I trade you malt liquor in return for information? And do either of you wanna be my boyfriend?

Thirdly, the performances are terrible.  Heigl and O’Mara are supposed to have a sexy electricity between them but as they banter back and forth, one can’t help but feel they are waiting for someone to call cut so they can go back to playing Angry Birds on their cell phones.  Not to mention Heigl’s terrible Jersey accent which seems less like performance and more like mockery.  Sherri Shepherd and Ryan Michelle Bathe (as Lula and Jackie, respectively) make mockeries of their former careers by playing hookers so racist, Im shocked they didn’t ask for watermelon as a bribe for information.  Leguizamo does his best, but is given nothing to work with making his turn as Jimmy Alpha (yeah, no joke) a character with as much depth as a character murdered before the opening credits of an episode of Law & Order: SVU.  It seems like everyone was here as a favor or because they thought being in a Katherine Heigl movie was a step up from doing those Lifetime movie of the week.  Its not.

Im hiding behind a dumpster. Aren't I cute? Hey audience, wanna be my boyfriend?

One For the Money is a mess of a film.  Its a cinematic bowel movement of the worst kind.  Its racist, sexist, annoying, full of plot holes and proves once again why Katherine Heigl should just fade away and leave us alone.

RATING: 1/10

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~ by Andrew Craig on January 30, 2012.

5 Responses to “One For the Money”

  1. Once again, your words inspire me good sir!!!

  2. I hope this never gets released in the UK. It looks worse than Jack and Jill… and I never, ever thought I’d say that.

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