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"One for the Money": A Mediocre and Messy Action Comedy 

Wednesday, Feb 1 2012

One for the Money—not just the title of Katherine Heigl's latest but also the mantra she chants before every movie contract she signs—allows the actress to finally stretch: Her hair is brown, not blond; her Jersey accent roams freely all over the tristate area. Based on Janet Evanovich's 1994 book, this punitively dull romantic action comedy tracks Stephanie Plum (Heigl), an out-of-work lingerie saleswoman who becomes a bail-bond agent in Trenton (played by Pittsburgh). She is in pursuit of Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara), a cop wanted for murder. Bringing him in will net her both $50,000 and revenge for his rude behavior after he deflowered her when she was 17. The tangled plot threads—involving scary, dead, and sassy black and brown people (plus one Asian stoner)—unfold with the same degree of miserable, busy futility as Stephanie's frequently cut-to hamster, running forever in its wheel. Making even more appearances than the rodent is the Big Gulp; the lady bounty hunter is constantly consuming junk—though at least when Heigl is snacking, she isn't talking.

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Melissa Anderson


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