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Mad Money
Genre Comedy
Year: 2008

Mad Money is directed by Callie Khouri, who won an Oscar for her writing on Thelma & Louise. Add three prominent actresses in Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes and you’ve got the ultimate chick flick, right? Wrong. This money heist movie may be all about the girls, but that doesn’t stop the guys from enjoying this crime comedy caper. Three female employees at the Federal Reserve hatch a “foolproof” plan to steal money that is about to be destroyed. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t anything like Spike Lee’s Inside Man, but it makes a middle-of-the-road comedy fuelled by solid performances.

Keaton, Holmes and Latifah may not be the most likely trio, but they have enough chemistry to keep the plot afloat. Bridget (Keaton) is an upper middle class woman, whose world is ruled by stuff. When her husband (Danson) loses his job, she is forced to find work and winds up cleaning at the Federal Reserve, thanks to her squeaky clean record. Nina (Latifah) is a single mom, tirelessly devoted to her two young boys and their futures. While Jackie (Holmes) is the weird trailer park girl, who just can’t stop dancing. Together they’re a crime syndicate with the ultimate money-making racket.

Mad Money is all about the fun and thrill of the crime. It’s about not getting caught and creates some great comic moments in the name of secrecy. As more people get in on the deal, the gang start to become sloppier and it’s not long before someone gets a whiff of the dirty money. Mad Money may not be factually accurate, but this doesn’t stop these girls from having a ball. The movie is bolstered by great understanding from Khouri and an electric rapport between the stars.

The film is based on the British TV movie “Hot Money” starring Caroline Quentin, except comedy is more prominent in the adaptation. Mad Money is predictable, quirky and doesn’t hinge on one major job. The money-ciphering is simple in comparison to most other heist movies. The film-makers invest in the characters and the “bank robbery” becomes a context rather than a focus. Mad Money is light-hearted and tends to straddle the genres of comedy and crime. It’s a feel-good “chick flick” that has the right cast, plot and direction for an evening of entertainment.

The bottom line: Light.

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