Okay so anyone that knows me well knows that I'm a diehard fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. I have been anxiously awaiting someone adapting this awesome series for ages. Several years ago I thought I was going to get my wish when I heard talk of a Stephanie Plum tv series. Alas it did not bear fruit.
Now we have a movie version in the works. Unfortunately I'm not really feeling this one. The more news I hear the more my excitement wanes.
First we have the director. Julie Anne Robinson has been around for a while but this is only her second movie, the rest are all tv episodes. On the plus side she's worked on some well known shows known for their quirkiness like Weeds, Grey's Anatomy and even the Fan Girl fav Pushing Daisies. So perhaps I can put aside the detail that her feature debut was a Miley Cyrus film and give her a fair shot.
There are three writers credited on this film: Lix Brixius, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Brixius has only two writing credits to her name and both are from television. That said, one of them is two seasons of Nurse Jackie which she also helped create. The show's dark and quirky dramedy style is fitting with Stephanie's wacked out adventures. Lutz and Smith (who work as a team) are a bit more of a mixed bag having done both tv and film, however one of those more recent credits was The Ugly Truth, a movie best described as a disaster. Add to this The House Bunny and She's the Man and it's not a point of excitement.
Toss in an inexplicable decision to change the setting from New Jersey to Pittsburgh and on the production side, well there better be a totally awesome cast.
Problem is, there's not. There are no 'oh my gawd, awesome' names on this list. They are basically a collection of 'okay that might work' with some 'what were they thinking' tossed in.
It starts at the top.
Stephanie will be played by Katherine Heigl. She's just to put together and pretty. It's hard to buy her as a generic department store underwear buyer who couldn't find a job somewhere else. Not to mention that her last couple of roles haven't really inspired confidence on the acting side
Morelli will be played by Jason O'Mara. He's reasonably attractive and he has experience playing a cop. So maybe he won't be so bad.
Sherri Shepherd will be Lula. She certainly looks the part of a plus size hooker with a half crazed personality.
Patrick Fischler has the face of a guy sleezy enough to skim off the top and possibly fornicate with barnyard animals. Pity Vinnie is barely a part of the story.
But then comes the WTFs.
Daniel Sunjata as Ranger just doesn't inspire. Ranger is supposed to be bad ass, scary and sexy at the same time. And I'm not getting that vibe off Sunjata. The sexy sure, but not the scary.
And I'm seriously hoping that Debbie Reynolds as Grandma is just a rumor because I am so not feeling it. Grandma is supposed to be a total flake, the walking embodiment of the insanity in Stephanie's life. I just can not look at Reynolds and see a woman that tries to dress like a teenybopper, shoots dinner in the 'goods' or has to be (or could be) bodily yanked away from a closed casket. She doesn't even look the part age wise. I look at her and I see Stephanie's mother, not grandmother. For years the blogosphere was demanding the part go to Estelle Getty, who couldn't have been more perfect. With her passing, Betty White comes to mind as a possible contender. Or how about Kathryn Joosten. Joosten is an Emmy winning actress with age appropriate looks and her roles in Desperate Housewives and My Name is Earl prove she's got the zany down.
I'll likely see this because of my love for the Janet, but it is going to take a lot for me to shed $20 for a theatre seat instead of waiting for the DVD