One for the Money (film)
|One for the Money|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Julie Anne Robinson|
|Produced by||Sidney Kimmel|
|Screenplay by||Liz Brixius|
Karen McCullah Lutz
|Based on||One for the Money|
by Janet Evanovich
|Music by||Deborah Lurie|
|Edited by||Lisa Zeno Churgin|
|Box office||$36.9 million|
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. The story revolves around a broke and unemployed woman becoming a bail enforcement agent, going after a former high school crush who both skipped out on his payments and is a murder suspect.
The film was in development hell after Columbia and TriStar Pictures had purchased the novel's adaptation rights in 1997. In April 2010, Lionsgate acquired the distribution rights. Produced by Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, principal photography took place in the Ambridge borough in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. One for the Money was theatrically released in the United States on January 27, 2012. The film garnered generally negative reviews from critics, with many criticizing the script and Heigl's performance. The film became a commercial flop, grossing $36 million worldwide against a $40 million budget.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (March 2019)
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 have seduced and dumped 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.
Cast (in alphabetical order)
- Ryan Michelle Bathe as Jackie
- Patrick Fischler as Vinnie Plum
- Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum
- John Leguizamo as Jimmy Alpha
- Danny Mastrogiorgio as Lenny
- Debra Monk as Mrs. Plum
- Nate Mooney as Eddie Gazarra
- Louis Mustillo as Mr. Plum
- Leonardo Nam as John Cho
- Jason O'Mara as Joseph "Joe" Morelli
- Annie Parisse as Mary Lou
- Adam Paul as Bernie Kuntz
- Ana Reeder as Connie Rossoli
- Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur
- Sherri Shepherd as Lula
- Fisher Stevens as Morty Beyers
- Daniel Sunjata as Ricardo "Ranger" Carlos Manoso
- Gavin-Keith Umeh as Benito Ramirez
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." In February 2010, Variety announced that Katherine Heigl had been cast to play Stephanie Plum. 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.
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. 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.
The film was not initially screened for critics and was widely panned; it currently holds a 2% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 53 reviews with the consensus: "Dull and unfunny, One for the Money wastes Katherine Heigl's talents on a stunningly generic comic thriller."
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." 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." Kimberley Jones of The Austin Chronicle said that the film's "glancing relationship with reality" involving its main heroine, story and setting doesn't translate well on the silver screen and is more suited as a made-for-TV movie, concluding with, "If the filmmakers can't be bothered to believe in the real-world implications of its premise, then why ever should we?" Mark Feeney of The Boston Globe gave credit to the supporting performances of Leonardo Nam and Debbie Reynolds for having "an out-of-left-field quality the rest of the movie lacks."
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." 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." Feeney felt the film was having a genre battle with itself over "gritty-ethnic inner city vs. girly-girly comic", calling it "chick-lit [Elmore] Leonard." Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman added that if said "[Elmore] Leonard movie was scripted by a bad Nora Ephron imitator."
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." Andrew Barker from Variety wrote about Heigl having "an almost standoffish lack of conviction" in her performance, 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." 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." 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."
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. Complex placed the film at number five on its list of the 25 worst movies of 2012. Complex staff writer Matt Barone said, "[I]f the movie's only offense was how it soils the Garden State's reputation worse than JWoww, it'd be reprehensible, but not worthy of severe public humiliation. But considering that One for the Money is also about as funny as a colonic, there's nothing left to do but rip it apart before banishing the flick from our memory banks."
The film debuted at number 3 behind The Grey and Underworld: Awakening with $11.5 million on its opening weekend. 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.
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.
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