One for the Money Directed by: Julie Anne Robinson Cast: Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, John Leguizamo, Daniel Sunjata, Sherri Shepherd Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: January 27, 2012
PLOT: A divorcee (Heigl) looking to make some cash joins her cousin's bail bonds enterprise, where she hunts down an old flame (O'Mara) who claims to be innocent.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you thought The Bounty Hunter starring Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston was the definition of "a hoot," you'll probably make it through the mirroring Money. If there are still supporters of Katherine Heigl out there, here's another serving of bland presence. Don't see this movie if you find it offensive people order vanilla ice cream.
The biggest crime of the latest installment in Katherine Heigl's romantic comedy takeover is that this movie is really, really dry. It's one of those movies that's so boring that I flirted for two minutes of writing a review about simply about paint drying, but cringed at embracing cliches like One for the Money does. It's so boring that I desperately envy those who shuffled out of the theater and were able to forget about it as soon as they turned on the radio in their cars.
So, maybe Katherine Heigl keeps making these movies because even she forgets she's made them before?
One for the Money promises viewers laughs, action, and Heigl, but has no value in any of those elements. It leaves us to find the laughs in weak humor, or excitement in the cliched moments any moviegoer can see coming. Comic bits are scarce, and when they do show up, they forcefully nudge the audience towards sexual humor.
Even moments that show Heigl getting her hands dirty with gun-playing antics have no pop. The biggest surprise of One for the Money is that it actually has a body count. Yes, people die. No, you won't lose your Haagen Dazs appetite because of it.
The mystery that drives Plum to these grimy corners of Trenton, New Jersey is sloppy, as the many leads she's following don't seem to add up very neatly. Later on, the man behind the evil scheme cleans up confusion by offering a simplified, lazy monologue.
Heigl is a white bread presence, even when toying with a New Jersey accent. She lacks any charisma, and hardly tries to get us on board with her character's "Oh, I think I'll become a bounty hunter!" impulses.
Her love interest is played by O'Mara, who looks like a cheap Mel Gibson, hired to fill in the reversed shoes of Gerard Butler. It's not the best compliment when a performances leaves you preferring to see Butler's "original" crook instead.
Debbie Reynolds, who starred in Singin' in the Rain a long time ago in a movie galaxy far, far away, takes the role of the peppy grandmother who plays with guns, and turns family dinners into comic strips. Betty White must've been busy during the production. The Reynolds gun moment got the biggest laugh in the theater, and that's perfect - this movie is for those who think it is HYSTERICAL whenever Betty White opens her mouth.
There's an inkling that One for the Money thinks it's so outrageous, and thus so fun. The movie has a "cute" attitude, and it's everything we've seen elsewhere. It has the retreading Katherine Heigl shooting guns, while chasing down a blue-eyed collection of muscles. One for the Money is wrong on both of these accounts.
My food lovin' brother once regaled me with his experience of participating in a pancake eating contest. He had to chow through two thick and wide plain pancakes, within a certain time limit.
At first, the feat seems fine, because it's plain. No chocolate chips to throw you off flavor course; no syrup to take up extra space in the belly. But then as you get deeper into your commitment to the pancake, the lackluster flavor becomes painful to the teeth, and lends itself to gross tastelessness. With so much plainness, eventually even the most harmless of pancakes become painfully boring.
Yes, that's exactly what One for the Money tastes like.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10