Wednesday, August 29, 2012

High brow expectations aside: One for the Money (2012)

Entertainment should be guilt-free, you know; and this should be a self-evident truth. I'm not saying that I would go for a diet that strictly consists of soap-operas, Hollywood blockbusters or romantic comedies, but one could watch some of the above from time to time without the feeling of self-disdain. Without necessarily sneering at them, ready to put them to their top ten in the unworthy category.

This bit sounds like preaching, and preaching it is. Frankly. I plan to make my other half read it out loud at least 10 times before going to bed; maybe he'll understand. He is the type of guy who cinema-wise, he has a serious illness: it's called "I'm snobbish and I know it". Hopefully it's not terminal; he could easily be cured if he decides to loosen up a bit. Why can he allow himself the foolishness of watching football drunk in a pub and not the foolishness of watching Ted, Titanic 3D or Pirates of the Caribbean? Why cinema should be always a serious matter, when going for lunch can vary from a business lunch, a supreme gourmet experience or the "I'm gonna grab something on my way home category?" Darling, really, why don't you give a go to pop-corn movies? They are awesomely produced and make you feel that life is easy, blinking and worthwile, plus they give you the advantage to exercise your ability to giggle. Laugh, in the best case scenario.

The rest of us, step forward and say the last silly film you've watched and enormously enjoyed. Or should I go first? Here it comes, it was One for the Money (2012) with Katherine Heigl, in a kick-ass brunette version she should consider keeping for a while. She is jobless Stephanie Plum who decides that being a bail bondsman could be the job for her; guns are phallic enough to be of female interest, you see.

Julie Anne Robinson makes no effort to change her Tv-series style of mise en scene, thus the film is prone to soap-operatic moments -it doesn't bother me. The fact that the book under the same name is classified under the "women's literature" tag, an unfair tag altogether, does not bother me either. The film is entertaining head to toe, mainly thanks to the easy-going performance by the always up to the demand Katherine Heigl. She belongs to the rare species of actresses that you wanna cuddle, smile at and become best friends forever. Or is it the way she is cast, as a sympathetic girl-next door, only tall and gorgeous? It's rather her wit that shows underneath the cover; and the funniness. 

To cut a long story short, the book by Janet Evanovich (her first and lucky one, on which she based the subsequent series) was nicely written as a film script - I see those images struggling to get out of the pages from page one. We get to know the colors, the details and all in a not so literary way, as some friends would put it. But it works; and who am I to judge it on quality basis. Not everyone should be a Nobel/Oscar contender.

* You can read the first chapter of the book here. I'd rather take the film, with a feel-good touch, and Sherry Sepherd and Daniel Sunjata who definitely enhance it.

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