So many critics have derided One for the Money, but I’m here to defend it. I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about this film. I’m a big fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and I was worried they would ruin the franchise (plus I was really holding out for them to adapt to a TV series—wouldn’t it make a great TV show?). However, the film was very enjoyable and very true to the book.
Casting was probably the biggest issue for the film. Katherine Heigl does a great job with Stephanie; she grows into the character the same way Stephanie grows into being a bounty hunter. The problem is that everyone’s preconceived notions of dislike for Heigl biased them against enjoying anything about her and the film. But if you look past the terrible Jersey accent (it really doesn’t suit her), then you can see that Heigl does her best.
Daniel Sunjata was my other concern as regards casting. Although he isn’t as dark and mysterious as I imagined Ranger in the books, Sunjata is still charming and devastatingly handsome enough to pull off this seasoned bounty hunter. Plus, his chemistry with Heigl was fairly palpable.
Speaking of chemistry, Jason O’Mara did a great job making Morelli both smarmy and lovable (and sexy as well!). I was definitely hoping for some steamy action between him and Stephanie. Sherri Shepherd was perfectly cast as Lula, the hooker-cum-secretary; and she cracked me up as much as she does in the books. Also, I would have liked to see more of Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur—that character is always good for a hoot and a half.
The plot was the same as the book, but it isn’t really the “plot” that drives these stories. It’s seeing everyday girl Stephanie Plum kick ass—or attempt to—as she gets into these ridiculous situations (again, a TV series would be perfect for this!). So, if you want a fun, entertaining film, then One for the Money is the one for you. And if you need some summer reading material, then Stephanie Plum series is always the perfect beachside accessory.