Mad Money opens with the sight of an enormous pile of hundred dollar bills, and that’s roughly what it would take to make me once again sit through this dim-witted caper about three women who decide to rob the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. The mastermind behind this far-fetched plot is Bridget (Diane Keaton), an upper middle-class housewife who—after her husband (Ted Danson) is downsized, and confesses that they’re $286,000 in debt—follows a tip from her Hispanic cleaning lady and gets a job as a janitor at the federal depository. If that plot development weren’t daft enough, the film proceeds to slather on the contrived inanity, first by having Bridget quickly deduce the surefire way to pilfer cash from the bank, then by providing her with two willing co-worker accomplices in single mom Nina (Queen Latifah) and flighty eccentric Jackie (Katie Holmes), and finally by having the trio repeatedly pull off their embarrassingly simplistic—and thus wholly implausible—plot for months on end with unerring success. Holmes does ditziness, Latifah does brassiness, and Keaton does Keaton-esque wackiness, all in service of a crime comedy that barely bothers with humor (save for a few Danson one-liners and Keaton’s mugging) and completely discards any genuine pretense toward actual heist-related ingenuity or tension. I recognize that Callie Khouri’s film is meant to be taken as mere “fun,” and therefore shouldn’t presumably be held liable for its unabashed celebration of Bridget’s repugnantly unchecked greed, nor for the occasional plot hole or two. But Glenn Gers’s script is so unbelievable, slapdash, and idiotic in virtually every respect—from its lackadaisical narrative structure to its slight character motivations to its malnourished attempts to cast its tale as one about American consumerism—that if it were a mathematical equation, it would be something like “two plus two equals broccoli.”
- Overture Films
- 104 min
- Callie Khouri
- Glenn Gers
- Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Stephen Root, Roger Cross, Adam Rothenberg, Finesse Mitchell, Christopher McDonald
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