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Mad Money

Comedy movie directed by Callie Khouri

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The Perfect Crime In An Imperfect Film

  • May 22, 2008
  • by
While I gave "Mad Money" four stars, it truly deserves a solid three-and-a-half stars (I round up as a rule). Diane Keaton heads up a great cast in this criminal comedy about three women who pull off the perfect crime at a federal reserve bank. Keaton plays Bridget Cardigan, a woman desperate for money when her husband Don (Ted Danson) fails to find work after losing his job. She takes a job as a janitor at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, where she concocts a scheme with single mother Nina Brewster (Queen Latifah) and trippy trailer girl, Jackie Truman (Katie Holmes). They manage to make quite a profit off of their seemingly no-fail scheme, but how long will it last?

For what they have to work with, Keaton, Latifah and Holmes do excellent jobs. All three are quite funny in their respective roles. Ted Danson steals every scene he is in, and I believe that he delivers one of the best performances in the flick. Roger Cross executes well as Barry, a security guard with a crush on Nina. Christopher McDonald has a small but enjoyable role as the Cardigans' neighbor. Adam Rothenberg plays the dim Bob, Jackie's husband and handles the role quite well. One last mention deserves to go to Stephen Root who plays the head of the bank. He, much like Danson, is a scene-stealer.

What keeps "Mad Money" from being an excellent comedy seems to be a combination of the writing and the direction. Glen Gers' screenplay lacks the punch necessary to keep this film from getting boring at times. This left the actors with a weak script that, despite their best efforts, couldn't lift the the film from the lulls at times. I also think that director Callie Khouri is also to blame. Quicker pacing might have helped the film stay afloat.

Overall, though, "Mad Money" isn't a bad film. I rather enjoyed it, especially the moments that involved the trio of ladies planning their scheme and anything involving Danson. It received a PG-13 rating for sexual material, brief language and brief drug references. I feel that the sexual material referred to was particularly light (and funny) but not deserving of a PG-13 rating. The language is brief, but may not be suitable for children under ten in my opinion. The drug references are laughable, and explained away quite innocently enough.

I recommend this film to fans of light comedy, but don't expect too much from the script. The performers are all top notch, but weighed down by a story that just seems to fizzle out too often.

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More Mad Money reviews
review by . September 26, 2008
A great cast delivers a fun, funny and suspenseful little movie about an upper middle-class couple that have fallen on their version of "hard times." Wifey (Diane Keaton) re-enters the workforce in order to help make ends meet....only to find that due to spending decades as a housewife, she is not qualified to do anything. Finally she lands a job at the Federal Reserve as a janitor...where she discovers, to her horror, that money that is deemed "old" is taken out of circulation and shredded. It …
review by . July 11, 2008
If you can get beyond the totally amoral characters who let justified/rationalized greed run rampant within their lives, you might enjoy this movie. Especially if you are a fan of Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes and/or Ted Danson.    Mad Money is kind of a girlfriend/chick-lit version of Oceans Eleven without all the skill and slickness. The characters pull off the impossible, but it helps that the head of the "bank" is a complete idiot (think single-minded focus stapler …
review by . May 29, 2008
Mad Money is one of those movies that I really expected to like. I figured there was just no way to go wrong with a comedy that included the likes of Diane Keaton, Ted Danson, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes in its cast. But I was wrong; they managed to find a way.    The basic premise of the movie is a good one: a man (Ted Danson) nearing retirement age suddenly finds himself the victim of corporate downsizing and unable to find another job. He and his wife (Diane Keaton) have …
review by . May 27, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Whenever a movie begins at the end of a story I tend to get a little   cautious. After all, what's the point of going on a journey if the   destination is well known in advance. Okay, bad example. To be more   precise, what would the point be in watching "American Idol" if you knew   the winner at the beginning of the season? Rarely does this technique   work because it takes all the suspenseful wind out from under the sail.   This is a …
review by . May 26, 2008
This film has an entertaining premise and an excellent cast. Diane Keaton and Ted Danson play a couple used to a high class lifestyle who are now about to lose their home... so she gets a janitorial job which happens to be at the Federal Reserve Bank facility. She creates a scheme to snatch worn out bills that are about to be shredded and smuggle them out - since they don't officially exist anymore she figures its like recycling, a victimless crime. She needs accomplices, recruiting co-workers Queen …
review by . May 19, 2008
"Mad Money"    Stimulating Finances    Amos Lassen    In "Mad Money", Bridget Cardigan (Diane Keaton) is shocked to discover that she is about to lose her home and comfortable lifestyle when her husband, Don (Ted Dawson) is downsized from the job he has had for the last thirty years. Knowing this was coming, Don began looking for a job a year prior but with no luck. Bridget, who has virtually no skills but being a wife and a mother and …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #34
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


Take three women in need of cash, a slew of money about to be shredded, and a plot that nicks a bit from 2005'sFun with Dick and Janeand you've gotMad 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 thanMad 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 Moneywas directed by...
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Director: Callie Khouri
Genre: Comedy
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
Runtime: 103 minutes
Studio: Anchor Bay - ITN
First to Review

"Stimulating Finances"
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