One for the Money (film)

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One for the Money
One for the Money Poster.jpg
Directed by Julie Anne Robinson
Produced by Sidney Kimmel
Wendy Finerman
Tom Rosenberg
Gary Lucchesi
Screenplay by Liz Brixius
Stacy Sherman
Karen Ray
Karen McCullah Lutz
Based on One for the Money
by Janet Evanovich
Starring Katherine Heigl
Jason O'Mara
Daniel Sunjata
John Leguizamo
Sherri Shepherd
Debbie Reynolds
Music by Deborah Lurie
Cinematography Jim Whitaker
Edited by Lisa Zeno Churgin
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date
  • January 27, 2012 (2012-01-27)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[2]
Box office $36.9 million[3]

One for the Money is a 2012 American crime comedy film based on Janet Evanovich's 1994 novel of the same name. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, the screenplay was written by Liz Brixius, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. It stars Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Debbie Reynolds, Daniel Sunjata and Sherri Shepherd.


Stephanie Plum, out of work and out of cash, turns in desperation to her disreputable cousin Vinnie, of Vinnie's Bail Bonds, for work. Despite having no equipment, training, or particular skill she becomes a bail enforcement agent, chasing after Vinnie's highest stakes bail jumper: Joe Morelli, a former vice cop who is wanted for murder, who also happened to seduce and dump Stephanie back in high school after taking her virginity.

In the midst of the chase, Stephanie has to deal with her meddling family, a problematic tendency of witnesses who die when she gets too close, and lessons in bounty hunting from the mysterious Ranger. When she finally catches up to Morelli, she realizes that the case against him doesn't add up and that the old flame from their school days may just be rekindling.



In an October 2010 interview, author Janet Evanovich stated that TriStar Pictures had purchased the rights to her novel thirteen years previously, and the film had been in development hell since that time. When asked about the status of the film, Evanovich commented, "Hard to believe they've been sitting on this multi-million dollar franchise for all these years but go figure."[4] In February 2010, Variety announced that Katherine Heigl had been cast to play Stephanie Plum.[5] In April 2010, Lionsgate announced that they had acquired distribution rights, would co-produce with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment (which had acquired the rights from Columbia), and Julie Anne Robinson (The Last Song) would direct.[6]

The film adaptation was produced by Tom Rosenberg for Lakeshore Entertainment, with Katherine Heigl playing the role of Stephanie Plum. The production was shot in metropolitan Pittsburgh from July to early September 2010. Principal photography began the week of July 12, 2010, in the borough of Ambridge in suburban Beaver County, and continued in six different locations in the town.[7] Pittsburgh's Central Northside neighborhood as well as the recently shuttered UPMC facility in the inner suburb of Braddock, doubled for the book's setting of Trenton, New Jersey, neighborhoods and government buildings. Establishing shot of bridge overlooking Trenton, New Jersey was filmed in Kittanning.[8]


The film was released on January 27, 2012.[9][10]


The film was not initially screened for critics and was widely panned; it currently holds a 2% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 52 reviews with the consensus: "Dull and unfunny, One for the Money wastes Katherine Heigl's talents on a stunningly generic comic thriller."[11]

R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine criticized the cartoonish portrayal of New Jersey and its various caricatures, and the dumbed-down gender depiction of its main cast by an all-female production team, saying that, "This isn't girl-power filmmaking, this is cutesy contentment, a production team of gals enforcing their own stereotypes by willfully succumbing to demographic views of sexist Hollywood honchos."[12] Sheri Linden of the Los Angeles Times noted the film's poor scripting of Heigl's character, story progression, and balancing both screwball and black comedy, calling it "an ungainly mix of flat-footed gumshoeing and strained attempts at hilarity, all delivered with an unconvincing Joizy vibe."[13] Despite Heigl and the film's supporting cast being up to the task, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter felt they were undone by a script unsure of its genre, saying that it "mostly resembles a failed television pilot, a feeling which is only reinforced by its late-January release and failure to be screened for critics."[14] Jeff Otto from IndieWire repeated what Scheck wrote about the genre confusion, saying that it carries elements of a romantic comedy but "Otherwise the film dabbles in thriller territory, sort of an attempt at Elmore Leonard gone Jersey Shore. But it’s not smart enough for that."[15] Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman added that if said "[Elmore] Leonard movie was scripted by a bad Nora Ephron imitator."[16]

Many critics derided Heigl for her portrayal of Stephanie Plum. Sam Adams of The A.V. Club found her miscast as Stephanie because she lacked any spunk or tenacity to make the character tolerable and charming, despite some decent comedic timing, saying "there’s a hollowness at the movie’s center, right where Heigl’s heart should be."[17] Andrew Barker from Variety wrote about Heigl's performance, "Shrill, unfocused and irregularly attempting a deep New Jersey accent that seems destined for lasting infamy, she plays heroine Stephanie with an almost standoffish lack of conviction",[18] and Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News described her as being "too movie-star glam, too stiffly prissy, and too lacking in any affection for Stephanie herself."[19] Gleiberman saw Heigl as being unsuitable to emulate the mannerisms of a guidette, saying that she portrays "working-class sexy slovenliness in an overly thought-out way."[16] Rolling Stone's Peter Travers also noted Heigl's miscasting as part of a "cringingly false" film that's devoid of the "Evanovich talent and energy" throughout the direction and screenwriting, concluding that One for the Money is "so godawful there'll never be another Plum movie to rectify this mess. Evanovich deserved better."[20]

Despite the poor reception, author Janet Evanovich was delighted with how the film turned out and did some joint interviews with Heigl to promote the film. Evanovich stated that she would now envision Heigl as Stephanie when writing the character.[21]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted at #3 behind The Grey and Underworld: Awakening with $11.5 million on its opening weekend.[22] One for the Money grossed $26,414,527 domestically and $10,479,194 globally to a total of $36,893,721 worldwide, below its $40 million budget.[3]


Heigl was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performance in the film, but lost the award to Kristen Stewart for both Snow White and the Huntsman and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.[23]


  1. ^ "ONE FOR THE MONEY (12A)". Entertainment Film Distributors. British Board of Film Classification. February 14, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Company Town". Los Angeles Times. January 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "One for the Money (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. April 12, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hayward, Mike (2006). "Janet Evanovich discusses Twelve Sharp and much else". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  5. ^ McNary, Dave; Tatiana Siegel (February 8, 2010). "Heigl in the 'Money'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ Archived from the original on April 30, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Stars Out As 2 Movies Filming In Pittsburgh Area". KDKA. Associated Press. July 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (May 28, 2010). "Katherine Heigl to star in movie starting here in July". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ McClintock, Pamela (March 23, 2011). "Lionsgate Pushes 'One for the Money' to Jan. 2012". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "One for the Money". CraveOnline Media. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ "One for the Money". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ Osenlund, R. Kurt (January 27, 2012). "One for the Money". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2016.  1/4 stars
  13. ^ Linden, Sheri (January 30, 2012). "Movie review: 'One for the Money' starring Katherine Heigl". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ Scheck, Frank (January 27, 2012). "One for the Money: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ Otto, Jeff (January 28, 2012). "Review: Katherine Heigl's 'One For The Money' Isn't Worth A Dime". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 17, 2018. 
  16. ^ a b Gleiberman, Owen (February 6, 2012). "One for the Money". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  17. ^ Adams, Sam (January 27, 2012). "One For The Money". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  18. ^ Barker, Andrew (January 27, 2012). "One for the Money". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  19. ^ Weitzman, Elizabeth (January 27, 2012). "'One for the Money' is bankrupt material for Katherine Heigl". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved March 17, 2018.  1/5 stars
  20. ^ Travers, Peter (January 27, 2012). "One for the Money". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved March 15, 2018.  0/5 stars
  21. ^ "Q&A with Katherine Heigl and Janet Evanovich". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 27-29, 2012". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 30, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  23. ^

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