Mad Money
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2

Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson. Comedy/drama. Written by Glenn Gers. Directed by Callie Khouri.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Three women, frustrated with a system that seems uncaring for their lifes troubles, decide to rob a Federal Reserve Bank.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I congratulate a filmmaker for wanting to remake a picture that had possibilities but failed to hit the mark. John Hustons The Maltese Falcon is such an example. Other filmmakers made it twice before Huston turned a ho-hum mystery into the quintessential detective story. Mad Money is a remake of the 1980 claptrap crime caper How To Beat the High Cost of Living. And Im afraid its on a par with its original. There are a few laughs and the premise amuses the masses, because everyone wants to get back at the federal government. But overall its what weve come to expect from January studio releases shallow and mundane.

There are two ways to look at a film where people commit crimes and seemingly get away with their transgression. First, its morally wrong to commit such deeds. In the film one character struggles with the morality of it all, but eventually goes along with the heist in order to get her kids a better life; whereas, the other two are game from the outset.

They are tempted and lulled into committing a felony in order to have more or just because they think they are due. This viewpoint is interesting, because there are so many people who think that laws are for everybody else. The problem with stealing, however, is that its one of the top ten no-nos and that a distinction between right and wrong is programmed into our genes. So no one really gets away with a crime. The offense digs down into the subconscious and begins to eat away at the soul. Most often the culprit isnt even aware of the deterioration of his soul. But soon the desensitizing of the conscious begins to cause it to resemble a decayed tooth. And, of course, nowadays, no heist goes punished in the movies. The filmmaker endears us to his/her cast until we find ourselves rooting for the crooks.

There is a second way of looking at a film about people getting back at the Man. Its cathartic. Its fun to fantasize about our financial fiascos being fixed.

At any rate, Mad Money has some nice moments, basically because we like Keaton, Danson, and of course, the Queen. And theres an aura of interest around Ms. Holmes, the wife of Tom Cruise. And shes not a bad little actress. The film even has touches of what could be considered satire, but its not outright hilarious, which one hopes for when shelling out ten bucks for a film sold by the studio as a hilarious comedy.

DVD Alternative: Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. A non-stop laugh-a-thon as a group of motorists learn of a fortune buried 200 miles away. Besides all the visual and verbal gags, and its constellation of comic greats, Mad World also contains some of the best car chases and stunts ever filmed.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Overture Films

Summary
Crude Language: Several humorous though crude sexual remarks
Obscene Language: Seven or eight obscenities, mostly the s-word and coming from each of the ladies, one from a kid.
Profanity: One profane use of Gods name and one of Jesus; variations of the phrase oh my God are spoken several times.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: A brief sexual situation, though not graphic.
Nudity: A man drops his trousers and moons the Feds.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several sexual discussions and as many sexual innuendos played for laughs.
Drug Abuse: Some social drinking.
Other: Crimes go unpunished.
Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Above

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