One for the Money, based on the Janet Evanovich novel of the same name, is not a terrible movie so much as it’s an insignificant one. It’s shoddy, poorly written, and directed with the sure hand of a palsied woman afflicted with arthritis. However, the character at the center of the movie — and the focus of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series — is solid, and as much as it pains me to say as much, Katherine Heigl does that character justice. I don’t know what it says about Heigl, but she’s never looked and acted more at home as a lower-middle class Jersey girl with more attitude than actual ability. It’s her milieu, and of all the A-listers that could’ve landed the role, Heigl is more suited than any of them. Her sour disposition and sh*tty attitude finally played right into a role.
In One for the Money, Heigl is Stephanie Plum, unemployed after a three-year stint in the lingerie department at a Macy’s Department store. Desperate for work, she takes up employ as a bounty hunter set to track down Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), a cop who skipped bail after being accused of shooting and killing a known heroin dealer.
Plum, naturally, has a history with Morelli — he deflowered her in high school, and after he didn’t call her back, she ran him over with her car. They have your typical romantic-comedy love-hate relationship down pat: She steals his truck, he handcuffs her naked to a shower curtain rod. Initially, Plum doesn’t care about the circumstances of his bail skipping, she just wants the money. But as she undertakes the investigation, and as bodies begin piling up, Morelli becomes something more than just a poor man’s Gerard Butler parading around without his shirt: He becomes a guy that she can f*ck — as soon as she collect the bond money, that is.
Ultimately, it is Heigl who elevates One for the Money ever-so-slightly above the direct-to-DVD material and its weak supporting cast, which includes John Leguizamo and Sherri Shepherd as a sassmouth prostitute. It’s an inept film, listlessly paced, filled with cringe-worthy wisecracks, and pointlessly lingering shots at Heigl’s cleavage. But Heigl is game as Stephanie Plum: The eye-rolling and her eat-shit smirk is perfect for the role Unfortunately, as producer (along with her mother) she assembles third-rate talent in front of and behind the camera, and the result is a film really barely worthy of remarking upon.