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I will be perfectly frank with you, the only reason I agreed to screen this film is because my wife wanted to see it. I personally have no desire to see this. I figured I would pop it in, make the wife happy, and then I would rip it to shreds for the site. Even the cover artwork made me want to puke. A picture of Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah, and Diane Keaton all dancing in flying money, does not inspire this reviewer to watch. However, it's time to take one for the team, so here goes...
As this movie begins we meet Diane Keaton and her husband Ted Danson. Yes, Ted is still alive. Apparently they were very affluent and wealthy, then Ted got downsized. He's now been out of work for a year and are on the verge of losing their house. The director clearly uses this as an option to make a political point on the current state of the economy. Can't say I really cared for that. I hate preachyness, weather I agree with it or not.
Anyway, Diane needs to find a job, but she's never had a job in her life. Apparently the only job she can qualify for is as a janitor. Luckily, she goes to work for the Federal Reserve, where she meets Latifah and Holmes. Holmes is the flightiest, dingiest person at the reserve, and her whole job in life is to move cash around. Latifah plays a hard working blue collar tough chick, which is basically what she plays in every movie. Diane cannot stand being poor, so together they hatch a plan to rob the Federal Reserve.
The decide to rob it very subtly, so they can keep doing it over and over again. This was not a one and done heist. At first their plan is really easy, and they start getting away with it. Eventually it becomes like a science to them, and the girls can go through the motions without thinking really. Eventually it does start getting harder and harder, things get more complex, and I'll just leave it at that so I don't spoil anything.
I am shocked, I mean SHOCKED, that I actually didn't hate this movie. I expected it to be pure drivel, but dare I say it was actually enjoyable? Dare I say this was actually decent?
I cannot stand director Callie Khouri. She is responsible for such eye gougers as Thelma and Louise, and the Ya Ya Sisterhood thing. Her movies all seem to be entirely focused on women and women's issues. She seems to ignore any other point of view. However she made Mad Money extremely accessible to men. The whole heist thing feeds directly into some sort of machismo factor. And she gave meaty roles to some of the guys. The girls husbands/boyfriends got just as involved as the ladies. Ted Danson was wonderful as Diane's husband. Alex Smith played a great role as a security guard who fell for Latifah. Adam Rothenberg played the counterpart to Holmes ditsy character, and he fit right in.
I literally wanted to hate this film. I wanted to hate it with every fiber of my being. But I just couldn't. It's quite a fun, enjoyable watch. Don't get me wrong, it's no Godfather, but it's not bad. If nothing else it at least deserves a rent. It's not a bad way to fill an afternoon.
Added: Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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