Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
January 27, 2012
* (out of four)
Here’s something to bum you out: Sixty years ago, Debbie Reynolds starred in “Singin’ in the Rain.” Now, she’s playing goofy ol’ granny and firing a gun into a turkey in the pathetic “One For the Money,” the latest Katherine Heigl vehicle that makes viewers feel like the turkey.
Heigl plays Stephanie Plum, a character I can only assume boasts remarkable charm in the popular Janet Evanovich book (sorry, “One For the Money” isn’t the prequel to the Al Pacino/Matthew McConaughey drama “Two For the Money”). Onscreen, however, Heigl (“Life as We Know It,” “The Ugly Truth”) as usual comes off as an unlikable twit who’s always about to cry. Unemployed Stephanie disrespects her family, owns a pet hamster and still laments when Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), the town heartbreaker seemingly prepping to pose for a “Mr. Stubble” calendar, took her virginity and then never called. Clearly Stephanie running over Morelli with her car did not provide the closure she expected.
Morelli’s a cop believed to have killed an unarmed man, so Stephanie, despite possessing any strength or attitude, becomes a bounty hunter in hopes of simultaneously tossing a stone at both her professional and personal problems. If that brings to mind Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler’s horrendous “The Bounty Hunter,” you’re on the right track. Also: Sorry, no one should ever have to think about “The Bounty Hunter.”
Miley Cyrus’ abysmal performance in “The Last Song” proved director Julie Anne Robinson has no flair for working with actors, and Heigl obviously received no help either. She’s as energy-free as ever, flailing in a movie without a laugh or anything likeable besides its pure inconsequentiality. Not that anyone can shine while providing unnecessary lines in voiceover like “Now it’s personal” or, after spotting the flat-nosed guy Stephanie was looking for, “This was the flat-nosed guy.”
This Jersey-set movie—Heigl tries on the accent every so often, and it never fits—would be more fun with Snooki in the lead role. At least the thing would have some spunk. On a side note: Anyone grumbling about the casting of Sherri Shepherd as a prostitute should relax; it could have been Barbara Walters.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7:30 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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