Movie Review: “One For the Money” with Katherine Heigl


If you were broke, what would you do to earn $50,000? Would take on a job for which you had no training? Even if that job were potentially dangerous? Those are the questions answered by Katherine Heigl in the comedy/mystery “One For the Money”, which hit the theatres January 27th.

Based on the prolific Stephanie Plum series of novels by Janet Evanovich, Heigl is Plum, broke and desperate after losing her job as a lingerie buyer. She goes to work as a bounty hunter for her bail bondsman cousin. Trouble is, she doesn’t know the first thing about how to bring in a bail jumper. But with dollar signs in her eyes and a chance to haul an ex-lover into jail, she conveniently overlooks her complete ineptitude and goes about searching for her target, Joe Morelli, a cop charged with murder.

Plum is given some cursory guidance by a pro who goes by the name of Ranger. We learn next to nothing about him except that he’s cool under fire, has deadly aim, and may or may not operate outside the law. He buys Stephanie a gun, an action he probably regrets later.

One person who is excited about Stephanie’s career choice is her grandmother, played by the delightful Debbie Reynolds. The funniest scene in the movie involves Grandma and a weapon at the dinner table. I am hoping they make a film of the second book in the series because Grandma is has a larger role in that one. 

While tracking down and attempting to bring in Joe Morelli, Stephanie encounters many other colorful and/or shady characters, including a brutal prizefighter, his slimy manager, and a couple of hookers. Lula, one of the hookers, has plenty of curves, an even bigger attitude, and a wig for every occasion. She becomes Stephanie’s ally during the investigation and her friend afterward.

Plum finds out the hard way that bounty hunting is much more difficult than it appears, especially your target is clever. Thanks to Mr. Morelli, Stephanie finds herself in situations that are embarrassing, such as being handcuffed to a shower curtain rod, and frightening, such as being shot at. Nothing like learning as you go.

 I must admit I had a bit of trouble at first adjusting to Heigl as Plum, as she had not been who I envisioned when I read the book. But she eventually did win me over. The rest of the casting was fine with me.

Most of the profanity that was in the book was left out of the movie, and the violence was toned down so that there was more implied than shown. I am guessing this was done to gain a wider audience and to better sell the story as a comedy. Some of the timeline of the book was compressed, but none of the major plot elements were omitted completely.

There are eighteen books in the Stephanie Plum series. I don’t know if there will be sequels for this movie, but if there are, “One For the Money” is a pretty good start to the saga.

Click here to buy the book through
Submitted by: Karen Brauer,, © 2012 

Karen Brauer is a happily married woman in her forties living in a little house on the prairie. Her passions include: photography; classic and some modern literature; classic, foreign and some modern film; and music of all kinds. Her blog is called “browser life”: