Monday, February 6, 2012

Media Monday--Review of One for the Money

Let's hear it for Monday! Strange sentence, perhaps, but I'm finally back to normal work hours, there's a new episode of 2 Broke Girls on NBC tonight, and I just saw The Hunger Games trailer. Every time I see it, I get goosebumpy and beyond excited for the movie. March is going to be awesome, let me tell you.

Anyway--on to the review.

I'm going to get straight to the point here: One for the Money is NOT the crazy mess critics have made it out to be. I'm not quite sure what they expected from a series where the main character is always having her car blown up, her apartment broken into, and is best friends with a stripper with a heart of...hell, let's say cubic zirconia. Were they expecting, I don't know, the cure for cancer? Actually, I don't get that about critics in general, but let's not start chasing rabbits here, shall we?

If you're a fan of the series, you know the basic premise behind the movie, which is, for obvious reasons, based off the first book in the series (funny, right? Yes, I was shocked to find that out as well). Stephanie Plum, played by Katherine Heigl, has lost her job, is in the process of losing her car, and is on the verge of losing her apartment--basically, her life is sucking big time, something I think we call relate to. With desperate times calling for desperate circumstances, Stephanie begs her sleaze-ball uncle for a job skip tracing, with her eye on the big-fish price of potentially bad cop Joe Morelli. Oh, did I forget to mention Joe and Stephanie have a history, and there's a psycho, woman hating rapist/boxer involved?

Ok, I think those are the high points of the book/movie plot summary. Like I said, if you know about the series, you know what to expect. What you want to know about is how it plays out on film.

And I'll say: It plays out pretty damn well, all things considered.

Let's face it, book to movie adaptions are never going to play perfectly. Things get cut for pacing, characters get squished together, settings get changed--the people who read books are rarely the people who watch movies, and the people who watch movies usually have too short of an attention span for the loving attention to detail that book readers do. The one exception I can think of off the top of my head is the Harry Potter series, and even those had a number of things cut /squished/changed, for the reasons mentioned above.

Back to OftM--Heigl, strange Jersey accent notwithstanding, sells the part of the girly-girl turned bounty hunter. There's a subtle transition from suits and heels to jeans and leather and shoes you can run in. The unruly hair that so many fans were worried about, while not grotesque, was definitely on the more unattractive side. For some reason, I've always pictured her in my head as shorter, probably because of the constant comments she makes about weight, but it wasn't a movie killer for me.

Grandma Mazur was in full effect, although more glamorous batty than straight up batty. I couldn't quite see this Grandma Mazur knocking over caskets in funeral homes. Same deal with Mrs. Plum--she didn't seem quite so long suffering, at least not in the way I pictured. Mr. Plum, like the books, was vague and unrealized, but not in a bad way.

Not vague and unrealized? Morelli and Ranger. I will agree with critics and say the heat between Ranger and Stephanie was much more potent and real than the chemistry between Steph and Joe. I don't know if this is because of bad casting (sorry, Jason O'Mara--still love you though) or if because the principle people involved read further into the series and some of the Steph/Ranger heat leaked over. Either way, I thnk both men did a fabulous job.

I could go on and on and on but I think I've made my point. If you're a fan of the books, you'll enjoy the movie. If you're not, there's still a very good chance you'll like the movie. In a film world that's been heavy on horror and absolute ridiculousness, One for the Money is a nice, lighthearted change of pace.

Tomorrow: the Tuesday Buildup is in full effect, with a little of the motive and inspiration behind Cari Gravier and the Moon Rising series. Catch you all then!

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