Bounty hunting in Noo Joisey

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TO OFM2

ONE FOR THE MONEY

DIRECTOR: Julie Anne Robinson

CAST: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Daniel Sunjata, Sherri Shepherd, Patrick Fischler

CLASSIFICATION: PG 13

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

RATING: ***

Based on the popular mystery series by Janet Evanovich, One For The Money is the first book in the Stephanie Plum character series. In this crime romcom, Katherine Heigl plays Plum, a down-on-her-luck “Joisey” girl.

She’s just lost her job, her car has been repossessed and her parents are nagging her to settle down, get hitched and start poppin’ out them babies.

With her bank balance in dire straits she is desperate and it is suggested that she pay a visit to her sleazy cousin Vinny (Fischler) to see whether she can get some work.

He runs a bail bonds business and agrees to make her a recovery agent (bounty hunter).

Stephanie is in way over her head, it seems. She has no skills for the position, but what the heck, she’s family and it’s a pay cheque. She is put on the case of a disgraced cop named Joe Morelli (O’Mara).

Morelli is a roguish town heartbreaker who’s on the run after having been charged with murdering Ziggy Kuleska, a local tough involved in some major criminal activity.

For Stephanie, Morelli’s more serious offence is dumping her in high school and she wants payback as well as the $50 000 bounty.

But Morelli isn’t the only eye candy in the film.

When she realises she needs formal training to survive, Stephanie calls upon the services of Ranger (Sunjata), a bounty hunter, to show her the ropes.

Ranger is sizzling hot and between Plum’s scenes with her supporting men, there’s tension and electricity in every frame.

However, our lead is a tad inauthentic and doesn’t quite strike me as the tough-talking broad from Jersey she’s supposed to be playing, along with the unsuccessful attempt at a New Jersey accent.

Heigl’s perky presence is undeniable, although the busy plot has Stephanie wandering from one lead and suspect to the next, with some cheesy voice-overs.

Apart from her dysfunctional family, Plum encounters a colourful range of characters as she explores the seedy side of Trenton with standout characters Lula (Shepherd), an entertaining prostitute with the worst, tackiest clothing known to the prostitution industry.

There are scenes with Debbie Reynolds as Stephanie’s feisty grandma that are entertaining, too.

It’s all filled with scenes that are sometimes too goofy to be taken seriously and sometimes too serious to allow one to really get into it.

However, all in all, it’s a cute mystery romcom and one that men can enjoy too.

If you liked… Mad Money… you might like this.

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