This past weekend, after asserting our dominance over beasts of the sea (sushi), the wife and I partook in a movie. This in itself isn’t so strange, the strange part is that I had an active interest in a movie that didn’t feature lasers, monsters, gratuitous breasts (well…more on this in a bit), or robots turning into things that beat up other things that turn into robots. No, we saw One for the money, based on the first in about 200,000 Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich.
The reason for my interest in this movie was because myself and my wife actually listened to a few of these books in audio form back when we worked together doing data entry. As an aside, feeling nostalgic about a mind-numbing job like data entry is a strong argument for staying in school, or going back to school. Seriously. Still, I found myself surprised by how much I liked these books. They were light-hearted and fun, while still having pretty some intense action scenes at times, and likeable characters. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the trailer recently. I had always wondered why they hadn’t turned these books into a series of films yet, it seemed like a no-brainer.
So, how was it? Well, it’s been so long since I’ve “read” the book, that I don’t remember how closely the movie followed the book, but the tone is matched quite nicely. I liked the cast, although I’d always hoped Dwayne “The Rock”Johnson would be cast as Ranger, and Katherine Heigl was likeable in the lead role, despite claims that she’s not as likeable in everyday life.
If I may digress for just a moment for some chauvinism, doesn’t it seem like every part Katherine Heigl plays requires her to take her shirt off at some point? It must be vital to the story that we get to see her in her bra…that or directors can’t work those little hooks. That seems feasible too.
Anyway, the movie held onto that same light-hearted fun, while still offering up some intense moments. Stephanie Plum still seems to get by on dumb luck half the time, and screw up the rest in comedic ways. I very much like that this is not an empowerment story. It’s a story where the protagonist just happens to be female, it’s not a “girl power” thing. I don’t like it when people get empowered, it’s obnoxious. I like a nice level playing field where we all try to claw our way out of the day-to-day ooze together as a similarlly-doomed collective.
All in all though, I really liked this movie. It was a nice change of pace from the usual explosion-filled or surrealist filth that I typically ingest, and I really hope that they go on to make many sequels, they certainly have enough source material to draw from. If you’ve been on the fence about this one, go see it, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.