Saturday, January 28, 2012

One for the Money Movie Review |

'One for the Money' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Julie Anne Robinson (‘The Last Song’)

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara and Daniel Sunjata (‘Gone,’ TV’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’)

Movies based on successful novels and feature high-profile actors are often destined to become popular and entertaining, as they already have a built-in fanbase. But the new action comedy ‘One for the Money,’ which is based on Janet Evanovic’s 1994 book of the same name and features Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara in the lead roles, is one of the unfortunate adaptations that fails to live up to its source material. While the two actors have an easy-going and natural working relationship, the film lacks any true character or plot development.

‘One for the Money’ follows New Jersey girl Stephanie Plum (played by Heigl), who is forced to take a job as a bounty hunter at her cousin Vinny’s (portrayed by Patrick Fischler) bails bond agency in Trenton, after she loses her managerial position at Macy’s. While she doesn’t know anything about apprehending criminals and doesn’t even own a gun, Stephanie is happy to take on the job and by-pass the easy cases in order to apprehend former vice cop and murder suspect Joe Morelli (played by O’Mara). Stephanie not only needs the $50,000 fee from bringing Joe in, but also wants revenge on him for sleeping with her in high school and then leaving her. In the process, Stephanie must also deal with her meddling family and a boxer involved in the shooting who’s intent on hurting her and the witnesses she talks to.

Much like director Julie Anne Robinson’s last film, 2010′s romance drama ‘The Last Song,’ the action comedy also appeals to a large female audience. Women will surely relate to Stephanie’s struggles, including her desire to financially succeed without having to rely on anyone else and escape from their mother’s meddling ways, as well as seeking revenge on the man who hurt them in high school. Stephanie is a surprisingly independent protagonist who will do whatever it takes to stand up for what she believes in and what’s morally right, even if it means putting her own life in danger.

Despite Stephanie’s determination to find out what really happened the night Joe’s shooting, ‘One for the Money’ unfortunately fails to include any of the intelligent investigating Evanovich included in the novel. The film includes unrealistic situations, such as witnesses to Joe’s alleged crime instantly and willingly speaking to Stephanie. While she has no previous knowledge of the bails bond business, she also quickly picks up on the skills needed to succeed, such as shooting a gun, in the mere three days after she takes on Joe’s case.

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