One for the Money

Katherine Heigl and Daniel Sunjata in 'One For The Money.'
Katherine Heigl and Daniel Sunjata in 'One For The Money.'

Confession: I enjoy reading mysteries, I devour them, actually. And author Janet Evanovich hit paydirt in 1994 when she invented the character of Stephanie Plum, a  hard-ass bounty hunter from Jersey who always gets her man. One for the Money, the first of Evanovich's 18 and counting Plum bestsellers, now hits the screen with a blazingly miscast Katherine Heigl, her blond tresses turned dingy brown. Like that helps! It's an origin story so we see how Plum's career selling lingerie to lowlifes in Newark preps her for action. Except we don't see it. Everything in One for the Money rings cringingly false, from Heigl's absurd Snooki accent to Plum's romance with Joe Morelli, an Italian cop, played by – faith and begorrah – Jason O'Mara. To dismiss Julie Anne Robinson's direction as clueless would be a kindness. And what to say of the work of three screenwriters (Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray and Liz Brixius) who suck the Evanovich talent and energy from every syllable of dialogue? The film wasn't screened for critics (wise move), but Evanovich snagged an invite and told a local Jersey paper: "I was so excited when that movie ended, I almost burst into tears." Me too, but for a totally different reason. The horror was over. One for the Money is so godawful there'll never be another Plum movie to rectify this mess. Evanovich deserved better.

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