Mad Money

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You know the economy is bad when a spoiled housewife like Bridget Cardigan (Keaton, playing the usual dithering Keaton character) has to take a job as a cleaning lady at the Federal Reserve. Why the Fed would hire her, however, is anybody’s guess, since she spends inordinate amounts of time mugging for the camera. But Keaton’s broad approach at least keeps things lively in this fair-to-middling comedy.

Crafty Bridget finds a hole in the security and devises a scheme to smuggle out money scheduled for destruction. It’s not theft, she explains to her husband (Danson), it’s recycling—a line that’s fairly typical of the mild laughs in Mad Money. To carry off her idea, Bridget enlists the help of two fellow employees. Space case Jackie (Holmes, who seems like an Ivy Leaguer pretending to be working-class) transports carts of worn-out cash around the building. Those tired bills get shredded by struggling single mom Nina (Latifah, the only person here who crafts a
real character).

The scheme is pretty ingenious, actually, and the pleasures of watching the caper unfold make up in part for the lazy characterization, clumsy script and uninspired direction. In legal terms, Mad Money isn’t a felony; it’s more like a misdemeanor.

Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday January 18 2008
Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Callie Khouri
Screenwriter: Glenn Gers
Cast: Diane Keaton
Queen Latifah
Ted Danson
Katie Holmes
Adam Rothenberg
Stephen Root
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