One for the Money: Dull Comedy, Dull Romance, Dull Action
Daniel SunjataJason O'Mara...
Julie Anne Robinson
In 1 Cinema
Stephanie Plum (Heigl) has just been laid off from her job, is behind on
her rent and is basically in desperate need of some quick money. She takes a
job as a recovery agent/bounty hunter, apprehending felons that have skipped
out on bail. She discovers that the guy who broke her heart in high school, Joe
Morelli (O’Mara), is a police officer turned murderer and has a bounty
on his head. Fuelled partially by revenge and partially by her economic
difficulties, Stephanie vows to bring him in; discovering a hotbed of crime-related
activities to his case in the process.
Our protagonist is an unqualified, bumbling fool who is completely
unable of getting over her high school ex; she’s really difficult to like. Think of her as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde minus the charm,
intelligence and work ethic. Unlike Woods, who actually puts in the effort and
studies, Plum just runs around fumbling while things magically fall into place
for her.. Also, everything she knows about the job are either things more
competent people have told her or things she’s learned off of TV – from Law &
Order most probably.
One for the Money doesn’t bring the comedy required to make a character like
this work neither dialogue-wise nor acting-wise. The former is infuriatingly
literal, preferring to spell out the action instead of making fun of it, while
Heigl plays Plum completely straight; treating her like a serious character
instead of the walking punch line that she is.
The other characters exist
solely to help her out. Sunjata plays a guy named Ranger who is basically a
hot, muscled fairy godmother who magically appears whenever she’s in need of help. And then there’s a whole roster of characters who immediately agree
to give her the information she’s looking for – information they refused to share with
the police – probably because she’s pretty and has nice hair. In fact, that’s the best that can be said about the film as a whole; the cast is very
good looking, right down to the bad guys. And even though there’s a whole lot of pretty on display, Heigl and Morelli
have no chemistry whatsoever despite their constant flirting and the fact that
Plum is, for unknown reasons, clearly harbouring an unhealthy obsession for
The action portion basically amounts to a few gunshots and a lot of
handbag throwing; the comedy mainly comes from Plum’s kooky grandmother; and the romance is summed up in Plum and Morelli’s flirtatious quips. The film strives to be a romantic
– action – comedy type but fails at all of them. One the plus side though, it
skews towards dull more than outright awful. You won’t be clawing at your eyes in agony but you won’t exactly be entertained either.