Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mad Money

Over the weekend I watched Mad Money. I didn’t know much about the movie, other than the fact that I’d read on some celebrity blog that it kind of bombed in theaters. I honestly didn’t even know what it was about. Turns out, though…that it was a fun movie, about stuff that would never happen to me...(then again, they don’t usually make movies about girls who go to work every day and sometimes fall down)…and I liked it.

The movie starts out reminding me, kind of, of Fun With Dick and Jane. Dian Keaton plays Bridget, whose life spins into chaos when her husband, Don, loses his job. While they were once lived very comfortably in an upper middle class lifestyle, they are now facing the loss of her home, as Don is unable to find work anywhere. Though she has been out of the workforce for over twenty years, Bridget takes it upon herself to get a job to support them. After a series of failures in her search, she finally gets a job at the Federal Reserve Bank as a custodian.

Before seeing this movie, I didn’t even know what the Federal Reserve Bank was. Apparently one of their functions…(they may have more?)…is to shred “worn out” money that has run its course, that is going to be replaced by newly printed money. On her first day on the job, Bridget watches Nina, played by Queen Latifah, shred piles and piles of money. Obviously, the stacks of cash catch the newly impoverished Bridget’s eye.

It isn’t long before Bridget develops a plan to take some of the cash…which she justifies by saying that it’s going to be destroyed anyway. She gets Nina in on the plan, and they recruit another girl, Jackie, played by Katie Holmes, to complete their team. The plan is simple: Bridget, while she is cleaning, will change the lock on a cash cart and replace it with an identical lock that she had made. Jackie, who transports the carts from one area to another, will pick up the cart, unlock it with a copy of the new key, and then empty some of the cash into a pre-determined garbage can, which Bridget will empty later in the day. Once the cart has reached Nina in shredding, she will have retrieved the original lock from the bathroom where Bridget has left it, and return it to the cart. At the end of the day, they will take the cash out of the building, stuffed under their clothes, and get away scott-free.

The plan works well for a while. The girls have more money than they can spend…literally. If any of them spends too much of the cash at once, or deposits any large sums in their bank accounts, they will raise suspicion. They agree to live the same lifestyles they’d originally had, aside from paying the bills that they needed to pay and supporting their families. Of course things can’t go smoothly forever, though…or there wouldn’t be a movie. People find out what they shouldn’t find out…significant others get involved in ways that they shouldn’t get involved…things get sticky.

I won’t go into the rest of the details…just know that I thought it was a fun show with some laughs, and I thought it was worth the watch. If nothing else, it made me wish I had a little "mad money" tucked away...but of course I'd have to come by it the honest way. :)