Review by Paul Stathakis | March 5, 2012

Where is the humor?

Accord­ing to Lion­s­gate, “One for the Mon­ey” is a com­e­dy. But did they ever make a mis­take in mar­ket­ing it as one. I say this because “One for the Mon­ey” is a train wreck of a com­e­dy, a wit­less film with enough robot­i­cal­ly-deliv­ered dia­logue to make your head spin, and it fails mis­er­ably as a comedic fea­ture because it is, unless I missed some­thing, com­plete­ly devoid of humour. The worst part is that I’m not even mild­ly exag­ger­at­ing. Any time you find your­self hav­ing more fun point­ing out all the clich­es in a film rather than fol­low­ing it, it’s a clear sign of a sure mis­fire. That’s the kind of expe­ri­ence you get watch­ing this abysmal pic­ture. Unless of course a grand­moth­er acci­den­tal­ly open­ing fire on a cooked turkey is your idea of a fun time at the movies.

Kather­ine Hei­gl, usu­al­ly charm­ing but not here, stars as Stephanie Plum, a new­ly-divorced and unem­ployed woman who accepts a job at her cous­in’s bail-bond busi­ness. Her first assign­ment: to find want­ed local cop Joe Morel­li who we quick­ly find out was once roman­ti­cal­ly linked to Plum. Nat­u­ral­ly, there has to be a con­nec­tion between the man and the woman or we would­n’t have a love sto­ry to cling to. A reward of 50,000 dol­lars is enough to moti­vate Plum to catch and bring Morel­li in alive. What fol­lows is a sil­ly hour and a half of cat-in-tongue dia­logue, sex­u­al innu­en­does, and at least one scene with Hei­gl wrapped in a towel.

The writ­ers also do their best to incor­po­rate some action but even those scenes come across as ridicu­lous. At one point, Hei­gl vis­its a mixed mar­tial arts train­ing gym to get some leads. Soon after she finds her­self trapped inside an octa­gon ring with a short-fused fight­er who taunts her as she inter­ro­gates him. She man­ages to escape in what is eas­i­ly the year’s most use­less and ran­dom action scene.Who saves her? You guessed it, the very same man she’s pur­su­ing. She points a gun at him moments after he saves her but he is able to snatch the weapon from her after he con­vinces her to low­er it. Then she asks him for infor­ma­tion. She says, “I gave you my gun, give me some­thing.” Morel­li approach­es her and flirts, “Oh, I’ll give you some­thing.” Right, we get it. By the end we know they’ll be togeth­er though we can’t pos­si­bly believe for one moment that these two indi­vid­u­als are right for each other.

Why Hei­gl accept­ed to be in this film besides the promise of a pay­check is puz­zling. In pre­vi­ous films like “Knocked Up” (2007) and “The Ugly Truth” (2009), Hei­gl proved she could charm­ing and fun­ny. Her role in “One for the Mon­ey” is so insipid and tedious that one might eas­i­ly for­get that, as an actress, she’s actu­al­ly quite capa­ble of reveal­ing such qual­i­ties on the big screen.


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