I think Katherine Heigl is one of the brightest stars on-screen today. Each of her movies consistently and she has a charming on-screen persona. Though critics grill her for her romantic-comedy roles, Heigl continues to star in effervescent movies, and as long as the movie brings joy, I say, keep at it. This is One for the Money.
One for the Money (2012) Film Review
No one needs to tell Stephanie Plum (Heigl) how difficult making ends meet it. For the last six months she doesn’t have the most lucrative of jobs. As a result, her debts catch up to her. She’s driving a car she can no longer afford, her rent is in arrears and if it wasn’t for her mother, she’d never enjoy a decent meal. Grandma (Debbie Reynolds) encourages Stephanie to talk to her cousin Vinny about a job. Quite apprehensive about working for the guy (after all, he did try to make out with her at her wedding), Stephanie is just desperate enough. The only job he has is work as a bail bonds recovery agent! Her skepticism and need for “quick cash” outweighs the bad when the case she’s handed has her ex-boyfriend’s name on it.
Joe Morelli (Jason O’ Mara) is the boy in high school that every girl wants to or did date, and he’s the one boy, Stephanie thought she could catch. Now a cop wrongfully accused of murder, Joe is out to prove his innocence. But between the cops and Stephanie hunting him, it may just be a matter of time before Joe is caught.
Based on a series of books, there is nothing much to this film except for its supreme ability to entertain. Right from the opening credits (which are adorable), the movie promises a fun 90 minutes. Though a bit darker than its promotional material may suggest, One for the Money throws in a surprise or two; the script is really good at the balance. There are moments of hilarity to lighten the mood but really the film is a decent, intriguing mystery in need of solving. And, I thoroughly enjoy every piece of the puzzle.
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As with nearly every other book-to-screen adaptation, I’ didn’t read the same-title novel on which this one is based. (Fun fact, this is the second movie based off of this novel; its first is a televised film back in 2002.) Everyone in the cast is good, which makes each of the characters a fun study. (Some viewers may find the continuous commentary of Stephanie telling her story annoying.) Heigl is, of course, great and has a convincing Jersey accent that does slip on occasion. More fun is to see Jason in a good-guy role. They play off each other quite well; their witty banter and obvious chemistry was fun to watch.
Needless to say, seeing this in theaters is a fun experience. Its more serious approach is unexpected yet somehow works for the movie, and all without trying to be the next great action film. Only the first in a long line of “Stephanie Plum” books, I wouldn’t mind seeing the studio bring more of her adventures to the big-screen despite my doubts; the numbers aren’t there. Fortunately, this one did see production, and it’s always there for the re-watching.
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CONTENT: the film is PG13 for a series of tense moments and some gunfire; in self defense, two dudes receive fatal gunshot wounds, one has five rounds to the heart. Two other baddies are shot in the head; a hooker is murdered. Stephanie befriends another hooker [inappropriate dress]. A couple of sexual innuendoes are present including a joke about a man who likes to walk around naked everywhere [Stephanie brings him in for jumping bail once] and references to losing one’s virginity, and we see Steph in her underwear a time or two. She also gets caught naked in the shower in which the camera barely avoids full frontal nudity [eventually we see her in a shower curtain]. There’s a lot of misuses of Jesus and GD in addition to milder profanity like sh*t.