One for the Money

16 Feb

Title: One for the Money
Year: 2012
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Writers: Liz Brixius, Stacy Sherman and Karen Ray, based on the novel by Janet Evanovich
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Sherri Shepherd, Debbie Reynolds
MPAA Rating: PG-13, violence, sexual references and language, some drug material and partial nudity
Runtime: 91 min
IMDb Rating: 4.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 2%
Metacritic: 22


The film I saw to inaugurate my 2012 rankings was The Devil Inside, which I immediately slapped with a D-, the worst rating I give, and considered it a front-runner for worst film of the year even if the year had just started. Well, I guess I spoke too early, as only six days and nine films after seeing that one I saw one that’s actually worse, and that will get my second D- of the year only a month and a half after the year started, and considering I only gave two D-‘s in the whole of 2011 I guess it’s official that 2012 is off to a bad start (thank god for Coriolanus and Haywire, though). The film in question is the dreadful One for the Money, starring Katherine Heigl who, after seeing this one, I understood why was not-all-that-subtly begging to return to Grey’s Anatomy.

She left the long-running ABC series (for which she won an Emmy) in early 2010 in the middle of its sixth season which was also the show’s worst save for that awesome finale that prompted a really nice energy into the seventh season which has carried on, albeit at a slightly diminished pace, into the current eighth season. But alas, this isn’t a post about Grey’s Anatomy (though these are the times in which I ponder about starting an Artfully Bedraggled TV blog), this is about One for the Money, but if you’ve seen it then you’ll be quick to forgive me for trying to avoid talking about it.

The thing is, Ms. Heigl left Grey’s supposedly to focus on her family, but I think it’s clear it was because she thought she’d outgrown her TV roots and belonged on the big-screen. I guess she had good reason to think that what with the massive success, both commercially and critically, that was the terrific Knocked Up, and the financial successes that followed with 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. But the two releases that came out the year she left TV weren’t as successful (Life as We Know It I gave a C to, and Killers I gave a D+), and maybe made you realize that this was, after all, the woman who starred in Zyzzyx Road, the movie that infamously made just 30 bucks at the box office.

I don’t want to keep on piling on Ms. Heigl, for all I know she’s an awesome woman, it’s just that her decisions have been so crappy after Knocked Up that I get frustrated; at least the title of this film is also a very clear explanation as to why Ms. Heigl took the gig. This is an adaptation of a series of novels about Stephanie Plum, a Jersey girl who gets a job as a bounty hunter for her cousin’s bail bonding company. Stephanie’s down on her luck, unemployed for the past six months, her car lost to a debt collector, but she’s sassy and has some attitude so you’re supposed to want to root for her. Well, suffice it to say that didn’t happen with me, the way Katherine Heigl played her was just so uninspired and like she just didn’t care, that Stephanie ended up being just some chick doing some stuff.

That stuff, if for some reason you care, is to track down Joe Morelli, an ex-cop who’s a murder suspect. Oh, and yeah, there’s also a love triangle of sorts as Joe Morelli is also a guy she had a thing with back in high school and there’s some sparks left, and there’s also Ranger, the guy who’s teaching the totally inexperienced Stephanie the ropes of bounty hunting. There’s stuff that follows, more characters, some action-y stuff, some sexy stuff, I don’t know, none of it is worth recounting. Except there is one thing that’s good about this film, or not really good at all, but good considering how horrible everything else is, and that’s Debbie Reynolds. Yes, surprising as it may sound, Debbie Reynolds is in this film as Stephanie’s grandmother, and she steals every scene she’s in, not that that’s difficult in a film as crappy as this one.

One for the Money is a disaster of movie, people. I guess this was meant to be a potential start of a franchise, considering how there are eighteen novels of this character, but seeing how this one’s made only $25 million (on a $40 million budget) I guess at least we’ll be spared the pain of watching further films with Katherine Heigl in a horribly miscast role, donning a Jersey accent that you normally hear only in parody videos of Jersey Shore or The Sopranos; this is absolutely horrible. The direction is an absolute mess, it’s like there was no one directing it, and the script is just a true train-wreck, and you just can’t believe that this stuff came out of a really popular series of books that has been running strong for close to two decades. My guess is that the author of those books, and the fans of them, will be disappointed, and they really did deserve better. I know this backfired before, but I think I can now safely say that this will be the worst movie of all 2012 even if there’s still ten and a half months to go.

Grade: D-


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