A true Jersey girl with sass and looks in equal measure, Stephanie Plum has been out of work for six months, has bailiffs closing in, and has just lost her car to a debt collector. Desperate for money Stephanie stoops lower than she ever thought she could and turns to her sleazy cousin Vinnie for a job. After much convincing she lands one, as a bail bonds woman. Armed with a can of pepper spray and a need to succeed, Plum goes straight after the big prize:, murder suspect and former vice cop Joe Morelli, the bad boy that seduced and dumped her back in high school.
With a premise as paper thin and unoriginal as they come, the plot of One For The Money always looked like it was going to be a simple one, and it is, director Julie Anne Robinson just drags it out. Stephanie (Katherine Heigl) quickly catches up with Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), but he won’t come quietly. He gets away then she digs a little deeper and unravels a whole mess of murder and conspiracy. Soon it becomes clear that Morelli was set up it all ends happily, with a few corpses along the way. That really is the gist.
Character-wise the film isn’t much better. A brunette covered in fake tan Katherine Heigl is average as the out of her depth Plum, but then the role was never going to allow her to shine. Jason O’Mara isn’t much better as the male lead and bearded love interest. Always there to save the day, Ranger (Daniel Sunjata) is as wooden as his washboard abs, talkative hooker Lula (Sherri Shepherd) reeks of cheap perfume and stereotypes, and Patrick Fischler portrays the same bail bondsman that we’ve seen other actors play in countless other films, only this time he’s called Vinnie. One For The Money’s biggest saving grace is the oh so fabulous Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur; she’s as feisty as her granddaughter, but with decades of experience to back it up. It’s just a shame she doesn’t get a lot of screen time.
One For The Money is a paint-by-numbers chick-flick that’ll make you laugh a few times but won’t particularly enamour. It’s worth watching but not worth the price of a cinema ticket. Wait for it to hit TV, or just watch one of the many other films it borrows from.