New Jersey has its finger on the pulse of the nation right now with Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, Cake Boss, and Boardwalk Empire all centered in the Garden State. In One for the Money, Katherine Heigl stars as unemployed Jersey girl Stephanie Plum, heroine of the best-selling book series by Janet Evanovich. Running out of options and money, Plum gamely takes a job as a bail-bondsman to pay the bills and live the revenge fantasy of taking down the man who did her wrong. Seasoned television director, Julie Anne Robinson, helms her second feature film as the naïve Plum takes on the bad boys.
Irish actor Jason O’Mara plays Joe Morelli, Plum’s former love, a targeted cop on the run hiding out in their hometown. Chase scenes and complications ensue as Plum tracks him down while dead bodies pile up all around town. O’Mara and Heigl are likable enough, but Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me), Sherri Shepherd (The View), and Hollywood grand dame, Debbie Reynolds stand out in their supporting comedic roles. The fun and frivolous mystery, set in a close-knit quirky community, could have been an amusing fish out of water tale, a la Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin. Unfortunately the script is too pat and predictable, lacking the big laughs and tension needed for the romantic comedy to make Jersey proud.
REEL FASHION: Costume Design is credited to the late Michael Dennison, Costume Design Guild Hall of Fame Award winner, who died from a brain aneurysm during the production following his beautiful work in Julia Roberts’ movie Eat Pray Love.