“One for the Money” is the story of a divorced Jersey Girl who’s been fired from her job and facing an impending financial crisis. In order to earn money, she turns to her cousin’s bail bonds business, hoping for a filing job. When she finds out that one of her ex-flames has a large bounty out, what she winds up doing instead is becoming a bounty hunter.
It’s more than a little implausible, as are many, many of the situations within the movie. It’s also clichéd and insubstantial. On the plus side though, it’s lighthearted and doesn’t try to do too much. The result is a flick that isn’t very highly recommendable, but wasn’t exactly painful to sit through, either.
Katherine Heigl plays Stephanie Plum, a divorcée from Jersey who just lost her department store job. Her car has been repossessed and she’s facing a future that includes frequently going home to eat with her annoying parents. As luck would have it, her cousin runs a bail bonds shop and needs clerical help. Or so she thought. Upon arrival, the temp clerical work has dried up, and all that’s left is recovery agent work. Luckily for her (again) one of the biggest bounties available is on one of her ex boyfriends.
Thus begins a tale of a plucky girl in way over her head who gets a boatload of breaks as she tries to break into the bounty hunting business. Of course, the situation escalates and spins out of control a bit, and she winds up in some genuine danger and things are much more serious than simply trying to bring her ex into custody. It’s also the framework for a romantic/comedic relationship where she’s hunting her ex, yet he’s helping her unravel the crime with which he’s been charged (he’s innocent, of course), and they both have moments where they flirt with each other, then turn on each other… that sort of thing. Along the way, she’s aided by a couple of sassy hookers and a sure handed pro (Daniel Sunjata).
It’s kind of like “Elmore Leonard Lite”, only watered down.
It’s a movie that doesn’t give you anything spectacular, but in return, it doesn’t ask a lot of the audience, either. The characters are each kind of colorful, but it’s a paint-by-numbers colorful. There’s some witty banter, but not a ton. There’s some fun moments, but not throughout. Probably worst of all the plotting is not very complex or intriguing, they’re pretty much relying on the audience to get behind the “snappy” romance between Heigl and co-star Jason O’Mara and have that carry the day. Which is… a bit difficult to rely on. Neither one of them is exactly backing the star power truck up to the loading dock.
Yet there’s a couple of moments here and there between the two of them, and enough mild humor interspersed throughout to make me feel like it was alright. It’s certainly no barn burner, it’s nothing to rush out to see based on my take. But if you had you’re heart set on it going in, you wont be disappointed or anything, I don’t think.
One quick note. As some of you may have seen me tweet earlier. I’ve seen that this movie is batting a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’d just like to say that this movie is nowhere near that bad. Bucky Larson got a 0%. If THIS movie winds up being the worst movie of 2012? I’m in for an easy year. A cake walk.