One For the Money (2012) – ★★☆☆☆

Katherine Heigl doesn't know how she ended up in this movie either.
Katherine Heigl doesn’t know how she ended up in this movie either.
One For the Money is a disappointingly dull adaptation of the wildly funny, wildly popular Stephanie Plum series penned by author Janet Evanovich—the 20th in Evanovich’s series is due out in November of 2013—that somehow manages to sap all the fun out of the plucky heroine.

One For the Money sticks to the “script,” for the most part, with few alterations, and follows Evanovich’s heroine as she turns to bounty hunting to make ends meet. The problem for Stephanie is she’s not very good at the job and she’s just been assigned to bring in a former cop lover, Joe Morelli.

The main problem with One For the Money is the miscast Katherine Heigl. Heigl just isn’t believable as Evanovich’s heroine, a wisecracking lingerie-saleswoman-turned-bail-bondsman. While she’s attractive and has the requisite amount of chemistry with her male co-stars, Jason O’Mara as Morelli and Daniel Sunjata at Ranger Manoso, it’s just hard to buy Heigl wielding a gun and bringing in the bad guys. Heigl almost appears confused, at times, as to how she ended up in this movie.

Another problem is the casting of O’Mara. He’s not a terrible actor, but it’s almost as hard to buy Irish-born O’Mara as a tough Jersey cop on the run to avoid a murder rap as it is buying Heigl as a down-on-her-luck bail bondswoman. The only actors in this film who seem perfectly cast are Debbie Reynolds as Stephanie’s zany Grandma Mazur and Sunjata as Manoso. Reynolds is one of the bright spots of the movie, as is Sunjata as Stephanie’s attractive, intimidating mentor. The View‘s Sherri Shepherd also makes an amusing turn as a prostitute who helps Stephanie out on her case, and John Leguizamo appears in a small but pivotal role as well.

One For the Money is entirely forgettable. Evanovich’s books are fun and enjoyable, and deserved a fun, enjoyable adaptation. What they got is a dull, paint-by-numbers mess.

One For the Money came out in 2012 and was directed by Julie Anne Robinson.

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