“Mad Money”

Mad Money

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
Theatrical release:January 18, 2008

Take three women in need of cash, a slew of money about to be shredded, and a plot that nicks a bit from 2005’s Fun with Dick and Jane and you’ve got Mad Money.

Diane Keaton stars as Bridget, a stay-at-home wife whose life as she knows it ends when her husband loses his cushy, high-paying job. Her college degree in literature turns out to be useless, so she accepts a janitorial position at the local bank.

There she meets Nina (Queen Latifah) and Jackie (Katie Holmes), who could use some spare scratch as well. Suddenly, it dawns on Bridget that the bank has plenty of what they need: money! Because the gals are so cute and nice, it’s clear they’re not really going to rob the bank. What they will do, though, is take the old bills headed for the shredder and recycle it back into the economy by spending it. (Oh heck, they’re basically stealing the money.)

Played for laughs, the movie doesn’t bother to discuss the economic ramifications of what would happen if too much money was recirculated, but that’s neither here nor there.

The trio of personable actors–particularly Keaton–does a good job of making the characters likable, even in some unbelievable situations. But Keaton deserves better than Mad Money, which isn’t really funny enough to be a comedy and doesn’t have enough romance to qualify as good chick flick.

Still, Keaton, Latifah and Holmes share warm camaraderie. It’d be fun to see them reunited in a film that had a little more weight to it.

Ironically, Mad Money was directed by Callie Khouri, who wrote Thelma & Louise and Something to Talk About–movies that had all the key components (compelling storyline and characters worth cheering on) that Mad Money is lacking.

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