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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's chief message is that it's never too late to try something new (like a career), as long as you commit to it, ask for help from experts, and keep trying. Despite being called "cupcake" and underestimated by all of the men in the movie, Stephanie prevails.
Positive Role Models
Stephanie is plucky and doesn't let others' low expectations get her down; she does her best to learn how to be a good recovery agent.
Violence & Scariness
The first half of the movie has some gun violence (a couple of the scenes are played for laughs) and pushing. Things ramp up in the second half: There's a car explosion that kills a character; two men are shot off camera, and their dead bodies are shown; another character is fatally shot; and there's a violent fight in which one person is bloodied and bruised and the other is pepper sprayed to unconsciousness. A body (not shown) is discovered stashed in a container.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although there's no actual sex or even kissing, there are regular references to sex, prostitution (two prostitutes are prominently featured in several scenes), a high-school sexual encounter, and a sexual fantasy. One sequence focuses on Stephanie being handcuffed naked to a shower rod (her body is shown in profile, with her hand covering only her breasts). An elderly nudist's bare bottom is shown as he's taken into custody. Morelli attaches a wire to a shirtless Stephanie; viewers see her bra and a close-up of her cleavage.
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Frequent use of the exclamations "goddamn" and "Jesus Christ" or "Christ," as well as "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "t--s," "hell," "crap," "damn," and insults like "idiot," "stupid," "d--k," "whore," and the like.
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Products & Purchases
A few car brands -- Buick, Ford Explorer, Chrysler -- and frequent references to Macy's. Stephanie drinks Yuengling beer with Morelli.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drug references include a character who opens the door with a bong visible in his apartment; he acts high on pot. References to a heroin dealer, and in one scene the heroin is discovered and discussed. Stephanie and Morelli drink beer together, and wine is consumed by adults gathered for dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that One for the Money is a mystery comedy based on the best-selling Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Following a Jersey girl (Katherine Heigl) who's down on her luck until she learns the basics of bounty hunting, the movie offers some empowering lessons about what women can do. But there's some troubling violence in the movie's second half, as well as frequent language (especially "s--t," "a--hole," and exclamations like "goddamn"). Although there aren't any real sex scenes, there are plenty of references to sex, virginity, and prostitution, as well as two moments of partial nudity: one when an elderly nudist shows his bare butt, and the other when the main character is handcuffed to a shower rod, revealing the outline of her naked body (with strategic parts covered by her free arm). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on Janet Evanovich's best-selling Stephanie Plum mystery series, this Heigl-produced film is a lackluster adaptation. The script is full of cliches, annoying phrases, and flat dialogue, so even though the actors all try to rise above the shoddy lines, they rarely succeed. Heigl once again proves that Knocked Up and the first couple of seasons of Grey's Anatomy remain her best work; these days she's charming but unable to find a great leading role -- ONE FOR THE MONEY included.
Considering that the book series has several installments, the written Stephanie Plum must be the kind of underdog character you can't help but love. But in this big screen adaptation, she's at times laughably inept or embarrassingly clueless. At least the interactions between Stephanie and Ranger are amusing (particularly when he tries to teach her how the job is done). What isn't as believable is how casually the fatal violence of the climactic scenes is introduced. After being played for comic relief in the first half, the violence escalates to a startling level in the last sequences. But since there's no substance to the plot, viewers may feel the entire story is underwhelming and predictable -- precisely what the mystery genre must avoid.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.