Mad Money Movie Poster Image

Mad Money

Girls-gone-greedy comedy best for moms' night out.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Desperation fuels their initial theft, but after that, the women, particularly Bridget, become greedy for more and more cash.

Violence

Cops point their guns before arresting people.

Sex

A married couple kisses and discusses "doing it" in the car. The ladies tease Nina about not having sex for seven years, making jokes about how "sore" she'll be in the morning, how sex is like "riding a bicycle upside-down," etc. Nina and Barry make out in a closet. The three women strip to their undies to stuff their bras and panties with cash.

Language

Language includes "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

Range Rover, Lexus, Mac laptops, CNBC's Mad Money With Jim Cramer, Master Lock, Boss Hoss motorcycle. One of the main characters is motivated to steal by a desire to lead a life of conspicuous consumption.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Champagne and wine at cocktail parties and dinner; the ladies have shots and beer at regular meetings in a bar; the two husbands enjoy a beer together.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie from the director of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is aimed more at mothers than kids. But some teens, especially girls who are fans of Queen Latifah or the celebrity circus that surrounds Katie Holmes, might be interested in checking this heist chick flick out. If you're considering a mother-daughter matinee, know that the main characters become unrepentant robbers motivated at first by necessity and later by greed. There are several conversations about sex (or the lack thereof) and a few scenes of passionate kisses, as well as some language (including "bitch") and social drinking.

What's the story?

In MAD MONEY, Diane Keaton is once again a wealthy suburbanite with a $300 haircut and a custom-tailored wardrobe (must be part of her film contracts). But her character, Bridget, can no longer afford the trappings of fine living because her husband, Don (Ted Danson), is out of a job, and, after 30-plus years as a housewife, she has no marketable skills. She desperately accepts a custodian job at the Kansas City Federal Reserve, where she's immediately smitten with the sight of piles of cash. Her eagerness to return to a life of conspicuous consumption leads to a scheme involving herself and two co-workers with access to the money -- Nina (Queen Latifah) and Jackie (Katie Holmes). With just a mail-ordered Master Lock, the three "blue-collar" women start stealing six figures' worth of out-of-circulation bills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This light, amusing heist tale may be hard to believe, but as a chick-flick fantasy, it's entertaining enough for a ladies' night out. Director Callie Khouri is an expert at for-women-by-women films, having written and directed The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and penned Thelma and Louise. What's disturbing is that, unlike other women-targeted movies with messages about empowerment and friendship, this one is also about greed. While Nina -- a single mother living in a crummy neighborhood -- has an understandable desire for extra money to a buy a house and pay for tuition at a private school, once Bridget brings herself out of debt, she has no real need to keep going. Neither does Jackie, who seems perfectly content to live in a trailer with her cute and loving husband. Eventually, it becomes all about the lust for stuff -- high-end appliances, custom motorcycles, walk-in closets, and 10-carat diamonds.

The ladies, who are nothing alike but still manage to exude a fun-loving familiarity with each other, make light of their felonious activities by claiming that they're basically "recycling" bills that would've been shredded. Even when they're in custody, it never quite seems that what they've done is criminal, which is a bit ludicrous. Led by Keaton's excitement over initiating the scheme, the trio's infectious glee over hiding stacks of bills in their push-up bras and support panties is surprisingly hard to resist. Even though the film is flawed, it's better than Keaton's other recent comedies, and it's ultimately like enjoying a happy hour with good friends -- brief, funny, and easy to forget.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's theme: that money can buy you happiness. What did it buy the main characters? Did any of them do something good with the money, or were they all equally greedy? According to the product placements seen in the film, what specifically does money buy you? Do you think the movie glamorizes criminal behavior?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 17, 2008
DVD/Streaming release date:May 12, 2008
Cast:Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah
Director:Callie Khouri
Studio:Overture Films
Genre:Comedy
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual material and language, and brief drug references.

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Adult Written byAjo89 April 9, 2008

VERY DISAPPOINTED

This movie was a huge letdown. The acting was so so and more importantly, the language and the message it send was troublesome to me. I watched it with out son and our store had it under PG , or I would not have rented it. I thought at first it would be a good movie to talk about what is really important in life and good choices,,at the end I was just a bit relieved that the characters seemed to realize that money was not what mattered, but people and honesty etc, Then the last two minutes blew it all to pieces. I actually voived to my son how disappointed I was that they were glorifing something wrong..period. It was a waste of time and I definitely would not see it with a young person struggling to make correct moral choices.
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlinaW. April 10, 2010

Summer viewing . . .

I watched this a couple of summers ago, and that was basically what it was good for . . . a fun little summer-y movie. I watched it with my then 8 or 9 year old sister, my mom and her best friend, and me, then 11. It was a fine movie, a little cring-worth to be watching with a 9 year old, but pretty funny, especially some of the slapstick comedy that us kids loved. Definetly intresting!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byHappilyEverAfter July 12, 2009

Great for a girls' night in!

If you're a parent reading this review trying to decide whether it is good for your teen, ask yourself this: Does my child know right from wrong? If the answer is no, then it's probably a good idea to watch the movie with them or don't let them watch it at all. The message isn't exactly positive. Yes, the movie shows the consequences of committing a federal crime, but in the end... well let's just say, I don't think they learn their lesson too well. Don't get me wrong though, the movie was very enjoyable. I always judge a film based on my reactions to whats going on while I'm watching it. If I cry, it's a good movie; if I get a reaction like embarassment or anger, then it's a good film because it gets you to FEEL something! This movie made me squirm in my seat, so see it! It may not be an academy award winning film, but heck, it's enjoyable! Great for a girls' night in!