Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mad Money

This is actually a rather entertaining blend between a women's bonding, and a heist movie. It's by no means a great movie, but it doesn't delude itself into being one. A lot of what happens doesn't make a whole lot a sense, and it feels like it was written by someone who didn't put too much thought into the heist aspect of it. Regardless, it was still kind of cute.

Diane Keaton stars as Bridget, who's husband Don (Ted Danson) was recently laid off. To make money she gets a job working at the federal reserve doing custodial work. Here she devises a plan to steal lots and lots of money that is scheduled to be destroyed. She recruits Nina (Queen Latifah) and Jackie (Katie Holmes), two other employees to help her pull of her scheme. Of course, they get addicted to the crime and the money, and take it too far.

I hate to say that the novelty of this was that it was women pulling off a heist, but they really did play that up. It was clear that none of them had any previous criminal experience, so they had to rely on simple ingenuity to work out their plan. Even though it seemed to be conveniently easy for them to accomplish the theft, it still seemed empowering to put them in a seat of being criminal masterminds.

The chemistry between them sparkled at moments, but fell flat at others. I really like Queen Latifah, and Diane Keaton is one of the greats (despite some poor movie choices). Katie Holmes, however, played the part of the free spirited dunce a bit too much. She seemed perpetually clueless throughout, except for her gut "feelings." Keaton and Latifah, however, gradually began to show their arc. If it weren't for the need to have three people in the ensemble, the movie wouldn't have lost anything without Holmes' character.

The story itself was of course a little far fetched, but you don't go to a movie like this expecting realism. The movie's greatest assets were clearly Latifah and Keaton. Even Ted Danson despite an oddly stoic acceptance to his wife's life of crime, seemed to mesh well into the cast. It's a pleasure watching them act. The movie won't gain anything more than a fun matinée or a video rental, but it also won't go down as one of the many movies I'd wish to forget.


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