Regurgitating the script of The Bounty Hunter, One for the Money, based on the popular Janet Evanovich series, is a lukewarm romantic comedy that plays by the usual numbers. Rom-com queen, Katherine Heighl, who also heads up the production side, continues her losing streak here, with yet another wan and lethargic story. One for the Money is miscast, miscalculated, misdirected and mostly mis-scripted. Husbands and boyfriends everywhere beware!
DIRECTOR: Julie Anne Robinson
CAST: Katherine Heigl, Jason O”Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds
GENRE: Romantic Comedy Thriller
AGE RESTRICTION: PG-13 (Violence, Language and Sexual References)
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As with most Hollywood romantic comedies of recent, the romance and laughs in One for the Money are sparse. This isn’t the least bit surprising when considering that Julie Anne Robinson is the director behind the equally awful Last Song. One for the Money resembles the lackluster Bounty Hunter before it, except this time there’s a reversal in the roles of the hunter and the hunted.
Recently divorced and fired, our plucky fast-talking heroine, Stephanie Plum, is desperate for work. When she breaks the news to her parents they suggest she asks her sleazy cousin, Vinny, for a job. Vinny heads up a firm that traces bail jumpers. Her first assignment is to track down a renegade cop wanted for murder, for a 50 grand reward of course. The cop, Joe Morelli, who is also an old high school flame, soon manages to smooth talk Stephanie into an adventure that has the two playing whodunit. Like a Barbie armed with a gun, Stephanie finds herself head over heels deep in trouble.
Certain actors, like Nicolas Cage for example, are able to make dud after dud without damaging their careers. Katherine Heigl, the patron saint of charmless rom coms, however, hasn’t earned that luxury yet. This could be a damaging career choice for the actress who is typecast, once again, as yet another clumsy down on her luck protagonist, who suffers from an off-putting mix of insecurity and abrasiveness. The only thing worse than seeing her act is hearing her narrate Stephanie’s thoughts (no movie needs this!).
The director Julie Anne Robinson demonstrates no attempt at steering the characters in the right direction either. There is a serious lack of chemistry between the leads, the action is bad and the story relies heavily on comic stereotypes.
Caught between two completely different genres, rom com and action thriller, One for the Money never ever finds it’s ground. Just atrocious! You could count the number of reasons to watch this with one hand and sadly be left with five fingers over.