Cast: Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes
Direction: Callie Khouri
Once in a very bluish moon, American cinema does come up with entirely women-centric entertainers. Director Khouri’s Mad Money is one those rare examples of a femme-flick, training the spotlight on a trio of feisty leading ladies belonging to different generations.
To be sure, this spin on Ocean’s 11 is far too cute for comfort. But what the heck, the result is easy on the eyes with a thieving but essentially clean-hearted trio led by Diane Keaton striving to give the viewer fair enough value for the price of a ticket.
As it happens, Keaton is assigned a big, fat juicy role as a housewife driven by circumstances to take on the job of a janitor at Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank.
Her husband (Ted Danson) has been laid off work. So someone has to keep the kitchen fires ablaze. Cash-challenged, she is bound to dream of bigger bucks, literally, since stacks of cash are shredded at the bank. The somewhat self-serving Robin Hood doesn’t see anything morally wrong in heisting dollars that are useless to the rest of the world anyway.
Next: Our janitor lady recruits two accomplices – a single mom (Latifah, with as strong a camera presence as Whoopi Goldberg) and a young, space cadet (Holmes) who’s leading a pop-rock life through the headphones jammed in her ears. All the three characters are likeable even though their frantic antics are no more than superficial script contrivances.
Frequently, too, we feel as if we are watching a sudsy TV soap opera. Not too surprising this, because the movie is essentially a remake of a little known tele-movie Hot Money.
All said and chortled, the candy-coloured tribute to women empowerment has its engaging moments. And of course, there’s the sheer pleasure of seeing Ms Keaton again – the actress whose performances in the Godfather trilogy, Annie Hall, Interiors, Reds,
First Wives Club and As Good as it Gets remain unforgettable.
Never mind the hiccups. Ladies, do it again.