This afternoon Lori and I went to see One for the Money. Neither of us were sure what to expect as we haven't read the Janet Evanovich novel on which the film is based -- that said, I think it is safe to say we were both pleasantly surprised. I tend to like Katherine Heigl -- not all of her films by any stretch, but ever since 27 Dresses if I hear she's in a romantic comedy I'm at least willing to consider it (I never stopped to think until now just how much goodwill 27 Dresses gave Heigl in my book...yeesh I love that film). Here Heigl trades in her trademark blonde tresses for brunette and a serviceable Jersey accent to bring to life the character of Stephanie Plum, who after a string of personal and professional bad luck lands a job as a recovery agent for her cousin's bail-bond business. Stephanie is anything but ready to bring in fugitives, but the girl's got game and determines her first big success will be collecting the bounty on Joe Morelli's (Jason O'Mara) head, a cop wanted for questioning in a murder investigation and the one who got away in Stephanie's book.
Stephanie is a bit rougher around the edges than most characters I'm used to seeing Heigl play, and to her credit I think she does a fair job pulling it off. As befits her loveable misfit type character, she's got a mother who wants nothing more than to see her married, played with aplomb by Debra Monk. It was great to see Monk on-screen again -- I'm a big fan of her work from the short-lived Nero Wolfe television series. But hands-down the best supporting cast nod goes to Debbie Reynolds as Stephanie's boozy grandmother. Reynolds was HILARIOUS! I only wish she'd had more screentime. :) Oh, and fans of Grimm will recognize Stephanie's scummy cousin Vinnie, played by Patrick Fischler. Fischler was the "bluebeard" in the "Lonelyhearts" episode -- and let me tell you his role as Vinnie was no small stretch from that appearance.
Going into this movie, I was expecting a straight-up romantic comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when this movie delivered a story in more of an action-adventure vein. As Stephanie relentlessly pursues the bounty on Joe Morelli's head, she gets drawn into a murder investigation that someone wants pinned on Morelli at all costs. I liked seeing Stephanie actually start to care about more than just the payday. This is particularly evident when her first "informant," Lula the hooker (Sherri Shepherd) is beaten for daring to talk to her. I absolutely loved Lula, she was flipping hilarious, and a great addition to Stephanie's quirky circle of friends.
My favorite part of the film is Stephanie's two love interests -- Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), an expert bounty hunter she enlists to help train her in the basics of becoming a successful recovery agent, and Morelli, her target. Sunjata is pretty drop-dead gorgeous, and as Ranger is hilariously deadpan -- nothing, and I mean nothing, rattles him. But Morelli is by far my favorite -- I just adore O'Mara, and give me O'Mara all scruffy and worried about Stephanie? Yes, please, I am so there. *wink* O'Mara is so ADORABLE! And there's a nice spark between him & Heigl (really I would worry if there wasn't, because I can't fathom that). Seeing as there's something ridiculous like eighteen Plum novels, I'd go see a second film for O'Mara's appearance alone.
Content-wise there's some language and innuendo in keeping with the film's rating, and similar to a completely unnecessary scene in The Proposal there's a moment where entirely too much of Heigl is on display when Morelli handcuffs her to her shower rod so she can't turn him in. That aside, the movie delivers some laughs and more action than I expected and yes, even a bit of heart. I suppose now I should give the book a shot, hmm? :)
Excuse me while I go dream that Jason O'Mara (or a reasonable facsimile) is going to show up at my door with a cupcake... *wink*