All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

One For The Money {Movie} Review

on February 20, 2012

Last night I went to the movies with Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and another friend of hers to see One For The Money. Having been an avid fan of the series (the first 10 books anyway, the last 8 not so much) I’ve read about the movie being in development for years and years with various people attached to the project and then dropping off. The rights were sold many many years ago and for a long time it looked like it just might be a victim of developmental hell.

Then Katherine Heigl was announced as being cast as Stephanie Plum and it seems like from that time on, things did move pretty quickly! There was a bit of outrage at her being cast (too pretty, etc) but I think in a book-to-movie adaptation, you’re never going to please everyone. Readers all have ‘their’ idea of how they think the characters should look and sometimes casting agents sacrifice looks for chemistry with other actors etc. I’m okay with that – my personal preference for book-to-movie adaptations is that they stick closely to the original plot.

So for a bit of fun I thought I’d review the movie as I have 3 novel review posts to do that just don’t seem to want to write themselves. Procrastination ahoy!

Casting: Unlike a lot of people, I never had much of a problem with Katherine Heigl being cast as Stephanie. She is beautiful but I’ve always found her to be a bit more girl-next-door beautiful than stunning knock out. She does have a rocking body, probably better than Stephanie does but that’s okay! I know a lot of people clamoured for Sandra Bullock to play Steph…but she’s close to 50 years old. She may not look it, but she does look a little too old to be Steph. Apart from an inconsistent accent, I think that Katherine Heigl did a great job playing Steph. She was funny, she had that sort of crazy determination that Steph develops. Although generally useless, Steph is usually portrayed as having both good instincts and luck and I think Heigl managed that combination.

The love interests – I’m Team Ranger and always will be but I’m by no means a Morelli hater. I enjoy him in the books, I don’t mind him and Steph together. However the casting of Morelli did not work for me. I always pictured him as leaner, hotter and well, obviously more Italian. And less angry. I know he’s wanted for murder and all and has the arm-waving crazy Italian thing going on but he seemed pretty bitter. I thought their interactions were a little more fun in the book so I might have to re-read that to see if I’m right or wrong. The casting of Ranger though I think was pretty spot on. He was decent looking without being too pretty although I did notice he was more playing a Ranger character from later on in the series. Ranger in book 1 isn’t all that interesting and I don’t think he was originally intended to play such a role. He’s definitely a character that evolves and given I doubt they’ll make 10 movies, I think it’s okay he was played as more smiley (‘dimply’ as Marg said!) and friendly than he really is in the beginning.

Minors: Grandma Mazur was WRONG! The actress who played her, Debbie Reynolds, is too young, too classy looking and too well put together. She wasn’t crazy enough – she didn’t wear the sort of clothes that Steph does, she didn’t really talk inappropriately. They did keep in the dinner-table shooting scene which was funny. I thought Connie and Lula were spot on – both were pretty much how I pictured them in my head. Vinny wasn’t too bad, I think he could’ve been sleazier though. They cleaned it up a bit – there was no mention of the duck, lol.

Plot: This is where the movie impressed me. It stuck pretty close to the book and kept a lot of the funny moments and didn’t veer off into weird directions to include more forced funny moments than the book contains. They toned down the creepy factor with Ramirez and he’s not really in the movie all that much. They definitely played it as a real genuine comedy more than a crime or mystery (which is generally where the books are shelved). They didn’t go overboard with Lula as a character, keeping her appearances and Grandma’s to a minimum. Big Blue was almost a character in its own right (I’m glad I finally know what that car looks like, I’ve always pictured it differently in my head because I really had no idea what a 1953 Buick looked like) and they modernised a few things. Steph wears an awful lot of spandex in the original novel (even though it was published in about 1994!) so thankfully we were spared her orange spandex shorts and pushdown socks combos! And I really loved the ending! It’s always been one of my favourite parts of the book. My only criticism is that it was probably a tiny bit slow in the beginning.  But it’s really a minor quibble – overall I was pleased with how well it was done and if they ever made Two For The Dough I’d definitely go and see that.


9 responses to “One For The Money {Movie} Review

  1. Marg says:

    I would agree with the 7/10 rating I think.

    I do think that Ranger had a ponytail in the first few books and so this one was too clean cut!

    I definitely laughed out loud a few times so as a comedy it worked fine.

    Are you sure that you don’t want to come and see the Zac Efron movie with me?

  2. Marg says:

    That’s all right then. I was still in high school in 1987 so the age difference isn’t that big! lol

  3. VeganYANerds says:

    I’ve heard such good things about the series and I’d like to read them, do you think I should hold out on the movie until I’ve at least started the series?

    • I think so, yes – just until you’ve read the first book! It really is better to read the books first, in my opinion anyway! But you only need to read #1 before going and seeing the movie.

  4. Good to know. I came for the Top 10, but I haven’t read a movie review for this yet. I finally have the book. So look forward to working it in….but you know how movies can be. I’m ready for it to hit Red Box ;D

  5. Dixie says:

    great review, I did a similar review on my blog. I liked the movie a lot, and agree with a lot of your review. I, too, noticed how Ranger was more vocal in the movie than the book, but I like what they did there. Joe, also, was a bit off for me, but I still like the character and the actor.

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