Say what you will about the recent onslaught of New Jersey-focused
reality TV shows, but at least they feature characters that entertain
and stand for something, even if it is fake tanning and animal prints.
Here's an idea, Jersey: slap a cease and desist on Katherine Heigl
for making you look boring--recently as Jon Bon Jovi's girlfriend in
New Years Eve, and currently as inept bounty hunter Stephanie
Plum from the Janet Evanovich-penned series. I'm sure fans of the
books as well as overly forgiving chick flick fiends will find the
movie passable--but for everyone on the fence looking for some guns
and sexual tension, you're barking up the wrong tree.
From where I'm sitting, Stephanie Plum (as played by Katherine
Heigl and written for the screen by three women) doesn't think hard
enough to realize that her decision to bounty hunt her ex-boyfriend
Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara) is just an opportunity to brighten up her
sad, lonely life through manipulation and desperate flirting. Wanna
see a woman make other women look bad? Watch Heigl as she bungles
opportunity after lame opportunity to bring him in, throwing
mock-crankiness his way as he pretends to kiss her to steal her car
keys and handcuffs her to her own shower rod. Sure, Stephanie does
what she can to learn about guns and cop lingo, but in the end, she is
still completely committed to playing a cops-and-robbers role playing
game with this guy who obviously doesn't like her. The whole movie
is hard to take when the main character is so lacking in
Although there is a beginning-middle-end where there is more to the
Morelli case than meets the eye (much to Stephanie's delight, since
that means she can draw out the pathetic flirting some more), the
entire film reeks of underdeveloped characters and unfinished
storylines. Since there are three books in the series, I assume that
the other two flesh out the caricatures that exist in this
version of New Jersey, like Stephanie's grandma (Debbie Reynolds).
All she does here is wear glittery sunglasses and bust a cap in their
dinner entree with Stephanie's gun. And what about the man in front
of her face that actually seems like a real romantic prospect,
the super sexy and talented bounty hunter Ranger (Daniel Sunjata)?
Here, he gets tossed aside and forgotten. There's a hooker with a
heart of gold (Sherri Shepherd), and even a boxer who--get this--has a
taste for violence. Snore.
I'm sure that proponents of the series will say that Stephanie is a
great example of a modern woman taking care of business. But compared
to someone like Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, Stephanie is a
total drip who needs to get her head on straight before she picks up a