Fortunately, I don't think I'll be ruining your weekend plans. The votes indicate that Mad Money is the new movie you least want to see. I don't blame you. From the looks of the trailer, I had mediocre expectations at best but I was secretly crossing my fingers that MM would be a guilty pleasure (a la The First Wives Club). Or that it might turn out to be an intelligent bank robbery flick like Bandits. Unfortunately Mad Money proves to be neither deliciously bad nor covertly smart. It's just bad-bad and dumb-dumb.
The first problem — and it's a big one — is that almost everybody in this film is miscast. Let's begin with Diane Keaton who plays Bridget, an upper-middle class housewife who is forced to get a job after her husband (Ted Danson) is laid off. In theory this makes sense, but the execution — as we watch Bridget search for a job that will utilize her comparative literature degree then quickly accept a janitor position when the first couple interviews don't pan out — feels forced. As does Ms. Keaton's performance. Next is Katie Holmes who does not stop dancing throughout the entire film. It's supposed to be quirky and endearing, but more than anything it's annoying. Lastly, Queen Latifah is only as good as her roles allow her to be. And sadly, obnoxious stereotypes withstanding, there isn't a lot for her to work with.
To read what else I thought about Mad Money
Even if the movie had been perfectly cast, it still would have fallen victim to a weak plot. Apparently the film is based on a true story, and the only excuse for this awful plot I can imagine is that the filmmakers chose not to embellish at all. If that were the case — and it's so obviously not, since the movie is so over-the-top — a documentary would have been preferable.
The absurdity of the storyline is still not the biggest issue I have with the film. That honor goes to the worst ending ever. It is just so stupid. What the filmmakers forgot, or perhaps chose to ignore, is that people love the "a-ha" moment at the end of bank heist films. Think Ocean's Eleven. The bare bones plot is (spoiler alert): the women steal money, they get caught, then they get released from prison because there is no physical evidence. That's all she wrote!
If you're in the mood for a better female-centric movie this weekend, go see 27 Dresses instead. You'll thank me.
To see the trailer and more clips from Mad Money check out movies.ivillage.com.
Photos courtesy of Overtures Films