Sunday, May 27, 2012

One for the Money

I wanted to see One for the Money when I saw the trailer, never mind that I've never been interested in reading the book by Janet Evanovich. The trailer was fun, and I liked the actors (Katherine Heigl and Jason O'Mara). I didn't get to see the movie in the theaters, and it was taking forever to come through Netflix, so I went to the rental store and picked it up. It was okay, but I think the preview might have been better than the movie.

I was disappointed to discover what the story is actually about. Stephanie Plum is just a woman who needs money fast to pay her bills. So, she goes to people she knows to see if she can get a secretarial job, and all that's available is a bounty hunting one...worth $50,000. It doesn't matter that Stephanie knows nothing about bounty hunting and can hardly shoot a gun. I don't know how real bounty hunting works, but it's just ridiculous that someone like Stephanie Plum could be seriously considered for that job. That was my main beef with the movie. I didn't know whether it was taking itself seriously or purposely being ridiculous.

And then there's the fact that the bounty hunting job is for a cop who had sex with Stephanie and then lost interest when they were young, so part of her deal is that she wants revenge. But she's in way over her head because this cop is wanted for murder, and deaths keep mounting up the longer she chases him.

So, I was getting the comedy vibe at first, but after several people died, I was thinking that perhaps this was more of an action/drama flick. Not being able to define the genre really didn't help me like this movie more. Sometimes I like it when I can't pin down a movie because it's so unique. One for the Money wasn't like that. It was unique in a I-can't-believe-that's-really-the-storyline kind of way. At one point, Stephanie is unclothed in the shower. One guy steals into her home and handcuffs her to the curtain rod, and she calls another guy to come free her. In Stephanie's own narration, she wonders if there is something wrong with her that two guys saw her naked and didn't try anything. Yes, Stephanie, there's something wrong with you, but it's less about clothing and more about plot.

The movie is rated PG-13 for violence, language, and partial nudity. The bonus is that's it's only an hour and a half.


  1. Without seeing the movie or reading the books, I get the sense that the Stephanie Plum series is sorta meant to be a mystery/comedy series in the spirit of Psych or Monk with a somewhat naughtier sense of humor. People get murdered, but it's generally not meant to be taken seriously. Could be this adaptation didn't get that tone quite right, but then again this is just my conjecture from hearing another friend talk about the movie.

    1. Yeah, I think you're right. Whether the movie got the book right or not, I don't know. But it didn't work for me.


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