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Thu January 10, 2008
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
Gabrielle Burton's Manna from Heaven (2002) is a cloying bit of larceny about old folks who pull a heist, so to speak. As bad as that allegedly funny comic caper is, Callie Khouri directs a caper headed by old folk Bridget Cardigan (Diane Keaton) that makes Manna look smart. Mad Money, about three chicks who rip off the Federal Reserve, is a bankrupt comedy for which there was not a laugh for over an hour, and that's with an audience at a sneak preview, one of the easier groups to please.
Diane Keaton shows no comedic skills beyond the lines Woody Allen has given her in previous movies long ago; Queen Latifa as single mama Nina Brewster has no range beyond the broad beam of her smile and her bod; Katie Holmes as daffy Jackie Truman is a much more successful wife of Tom Cruise. The only one with half-way funny lines is Ted Danson as Don Cardigan, but his perfect white-haired, brush-cut hairpiece distracts from his delivery.
Mad Money appears in early January, an infamous graveyard for films studios know flat-out won't be successful but distribute to satisfy investors and actors that the film actually played theaters. I hope this film makes them money across the seas because stateside it would take a serious heist to make any money for this felonious assault on even the notoriously easy American audience.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com