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 problem with "Mad Money," though it's not fatal. No, the fatal problem in this film is the script. Though I'm sure Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes shoulder some of the blame for agreeing to star in this movie, it does them no service that the script has them acting like unlikable tramps the whole time.
Diane Keaton in particular stands out. Here is one of the greatest actresses of our time. She's one of the few actresses to win an Oscar for a comedy film ("Anne Hall"), and it's amazing how off her comic timing is in this movie. She stars as Bridget, a wife who is forced to go back to work after her husband Don (Ted Danson) has been unemployed for over a year, leaving them over $200,000 in debt. She winds up working as a janitor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. To make a long (as well as simple) story short, Bridget enlists the help of Latifah and Holmes characters to help steel worn old bills that are to be shredded.
Actually, I take it back, this is a good idea. I mean, if you're going to steel something, you may as well steel something that's untraceable. Not only that, these women need money to get out of debt, so why not? Well, you know how the old movie cliché goes: Once you get money, you want more. Lots more. So these women steel. They steel, and steel, and steel. Then they spend the money they steel on things they don't need. Of course this draws attention to themselves which makes them a target for...oh who am I kidding, we all know they get caught. How can we not? After all, the movie begins with the characters getting caught. So since we know the result of this game, the only thing left is to enjoy the ride.
But how can we enjoy the ride when the scheme seems so simple and the characters so unlikable. Latifah's character is the only character who comes close to likable (she's doing this for her kids), but everyone else seems to be steeling for pure greed. The jokes fall flat most of the time, and I don't consider the girls making sexual remarks at inappropriate times to be funny. The cast seem bored, with Keaton looking desperate for a job, Latifah stuck in the "misunderstood black woman" stereotype she's been playing for awhile, and Holmes silently pondering why she had to give up making the sequel to "Batman Begins" for this. Even Ted Danson must be feeling nostalgic for his "Cheers" days, when he was asked to deliver jokes that were actually funny.
Though I know it's a bad pun, it has to be said: You'd be mad to spend your hard earned money on "Mad Money."
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
"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 … more
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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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...