Great tale badly told
Hollywood makes a hash of hilarious book
IT'S not kosher to kick someone when he's down. But since I'm dealing with a visual object - a movie - I don't give a hoot.
One for the Money, were it human, would deserve a thunderous kick up the backside. And that would be followed by a hot klap on both cheeks (of the face, you dimwit).
First question: how does one take a charmingly hilarious and best-selling novel of the same name, written by Janet Evanovich in 1994, and turn it into an unfunny dud?
That's what the all-female ensemble of director Julie Anne Robinson and her three screenwriters (Liz Brixiux, Stacy Sherman and Karen Ray) conjured up in One for the Money.
Question two ... and three: what were they thinking? Did they really think they were doing a great job and patted themselves on their backs? When you read the synopsis you're enticed from the word go and your ears prick up like that of a hunting dog sensing its approaching kill and your eyes prepare for a cinematic feast.
Then you watch the movie and your excitement droops and you start wondering, especially if you had read the book.
The story is world-class and it was just a matter of time before Hollywood producers came knocking. In fact, the book's movie rights were purchased 15 years ago and the movie had been in the cooker since then.
If it took that long to go into production you'd expect a world-class movie, with no holes, and raving reviews. But alas.
We have a divorced woman in Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl). That's a conundrum on its own.
She loses her interesting day job - selling lingerie - and has no means to make ends meet.
In her struggle to land a decent job she ends up as a bail-enforcement officer (a bounty hunter, to be precise) for her cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), a job that forces her to go after her bail-jumping client Joe Moreli (Jason O'Mara).
Moreli is her high school ex and it seems they might still have feelings for each other.
And she realises he might not be such a bad oke after all.
But Plum also has feelings for Ranger (Daniel Sonjata), her bounty-hunting teacher.
As Stephanie Plum, Heigl is flat throughout the film. But there are a couple of scenes that might get your vote, like action scenes of kickboxing and an exploding car.
Flick fans, we have a problem on our hands and it is not something to look forward to: there are at least two more instalments in the pipeline.
Next up is Two for the Dough and Three to get Deadly.
I hope these two movies won't be produced by the same filmmakers, and I pray they are not directed and scripted by the same team either.