Film Review: One for the Money
And it stars Katherine Heigl, who I absolutely hate. She looks like a cabbage. I don’t know why, but every time I see that face BAM. Cabbage.
So I was more than a little pissed off to find that this poor, broken bird of a movie doesn’t deserve it.
TL;DR Heigl is surprisingly good here. It is a tonally jarring mess, but certainly not on the sewer swishing level the critics would have you believe. 2 out of 5 stars.
But don’t misunderstand me, baby. There is a lot wrong here. And the biggest problem is the tone.
This is supposed to be a comedy, right? Well, it has the romcom elements: the two pretty leads, flirtatious misunderstandings, brutal death. Wait, what?
Every time this movie tried to make its way down the well worn path of romcom-titude (a path Heigl knows very well), something completely inappropriate would happen. For example, the morning after Heigl and her male lead (that guy from Terra Nova) spend a sexually tense night in her apartment, another bounty hunter shows up out of nowhere to tell Heigl to fuck off and let him take Morelli (Terra Nova guy) in. She also tells him to get fucked. On his way out, he steals the keys to her/Morelli’s car and tries to take it. Turns out the guys who are after Heigl rigged it with a car bomb. This guy gets blown the fuck up. And you know what our two lovely leads do? Turn and smirk to each other. Heigl is practically giddy. “I wonder if that was meant for me LOL.” What the fuck?
Another extremely egregious example occurs near the end of the movie. Morelli and Heigl (I refuse to use her character’s name. Katherine Heigl doesn’t do characters. She just does a differently hair-coloured Katherine Heigl) have just stumbled upon a truck with two recently executed gangsters, and the horribly mutilated body of a hooker in a barrel. Both of these sights are enough to make Heigl almost vomit, and Morelli nearly sprays chunks over the hooker’s body. Fast forward to the conflict in the scene being over, and Heigl fucking locks Morelli in the trailer so she can go claim her bounty. Mere minutes after they both almost threw up (and the hooker was actually Morelli’s informant and he feels terrible guilt over her death). Heigl pretty much smirks at the camera and prances away. “I hope he doesn’t get any serious mental scarring from this. Also there’s an unconscious murderer in there too. At least Morelli can direct any completely rightful rage at me into fighting this professional MMA fighter if he wakes up LOL.”
I think my confusion and anger at these moments lay more with the presentation of the film and the marketing (and the fact fucking Katherine Heigl is the star), but still pretty weird.
What this movie has working for it are the performances.
Even though I never really bought Heigl’s Joisey accent, she is surprisingly not a piece of shit in this movie. The last thing I saw her in was New Year’s Eve (which I hated) and her whole plot with Bon Jovi was fucking rubbish. I also hated The Ugly Truth and her character on Grey’s Anatomy. And we don’t even have time to talk about Killers. But I found her refreshingly genuine and vulnerable here. Must be something to do with the brown hair. Or that for once she isn’t “Blonde, obscenely rich 20-something who has a super important job but still wonders why she’s so unlucky in love and looks like a cabbage.”
Sherri Shepherd doesn’t strain herself as the adorable hooker, but she’s a lot of fun. And Terra Nova guy does what he has to as Heigl love interest model no.1964981263.
Why I hate this movie:
Heigl and her mother are the executive producers. Yeah.
Another major problem is Heigl’s motivation. About halfway through she starts indirectly getting people killed and hurt because of her investigation. This includes putting her own life in danger. Keep in mind she’s only doing this job because she needed a job. She should have just fucking quit. She got the cool stoner killed, Lula (Shepherd) almost killed, that random bounty hunter blown up and two drug dealers executed. She makes a quip about it being “personal” after the attack on Lula, but she never even bothers to think how much better off everyone would be if she stopped.
She also absolutely kills the shit out of the true bad guy (John Leguizamo). Like, five shots to the heart. It’s brutal as fuck, yet we’re supposed to see it as funny.
The other bad guy (the MMA fighter), in his first scene, physically attacks Heigl in a gym full of witnesses. How the fuck did he think he would get away with that? I get that most people in the gym are his lackeys, but come on.
And there is one absolutely unforgivable line from Morelli. He and Heigl had fucked years earlier, and he says they’re ancient history, and I quote, “like the pyramids, baby.” Cuh-ringe.
Reasons to watch:
If you want to see Heigl not be a vapid dick for once, this is the movie for you.
She also cracks out some side boob.
Heigl and Morelli work well together. Both with mostly unconvincing Joisey accents, but hearing Heigl tell Morelli to suck it just felt right.
Sherri Shepherd and her other hooker friend steal every scene they’re in. According to them they have a good cop/bad cop thing going on, except “we’re hookers.” Love it.
And during the climactic scene, Morelli equips Heigl with a wire. It’s completely ridiculous (what decade is this? Just get the app), but totally cute.
I can’t give this a higher score than it deserves. And it really does deserve a 2. But don’t believe the critics. This is not worthy of the obscene amount of scorn it received. Just watch it with your brain off and enjoy Heigl not being a douche for once. 2 out of 5 stars.