Let's Rush To Judgment!: Katherine Heigl As Stephanie Plum In 'One For The Money' Katherine Heigl will be playing the lead in the first film to come from a super-popular series of detective novels. Can she pull off dark hair and a Jersey accent?
NPR logo Let's Rush To Judgment!: Katherine Heigl As Stephanie Plum In 'One For The Money'

Let's Rush To Judgment!: Katherine Heigl As Stephanie Plum In 'One For The Money'


"Janet Evanovich."

Either this name means something to you, or it doesn't. Evanovich is the author of a series of books about bail bondswoman Stephanie Plum, who's now appeared all the way from One For The Money to the soon-to-be-released Explosive Eighteen. That's right: 18 books about Stephanie, her mother, her grandmother, her friends, and her endless — and I do mean endless — love triangle with cop Joe Morelli and the mysterious Ranger. (It makes ... somewhat more sense in the books. Not a lot more.)

My history with these books is that I once devoured about six of them during a single one-week vacation, which speaks to their easy digestibility and addictiveness. I continued to read them through about the eighth or ninth book, at which point I realized Stephanie was never going to figure out her personal life or progress in a satisfying way, and I stopped reading them. They're fun, and I still recommend them for people who've never read them and like kicky detective stories, but I decided at some point that I didn't need ... you know, eighteen of them.

Now comes Katherine Heigl, favored punching bag of any number of pop-culture media outlets, who has landed the role of Stephanie in this first film in what one assumes is a hoped-for franchise. Her Jersey accent seems to come and go, but basically, I roughly buy her as Stephanie, based on the trailer. Sherri Shepherd is, I must say, exactly my image of her friend Lula. Jason O'Mara is ... not Italian? And I always thought Morelli was? But their dynamic seems about right. Daniel Sunjata is slightly too merry and not mysterious enough for my vision of Ranger, but admittedly ... it is a trailer.

Katherine Heigl will be mercilessly ridiculed for this movie as she is for everything she does, including leaving her house, entering her house, acting, talking, walking, and particularly having any opinions about anything. But she seems to be a serviceable enough lead for a frothy detective story.

What really matters is how persuasively her various cars blow up. It's really the best part of the books.