Ok, this has been a long time coming but I think I’m finally able to write about it! haha I don’t know if you followed my love of the Stephanie Plum series but this is something I’ve been discussing for a while. I used to daydream about a movie being made from this series and came up with my own castings for the movie. I think they were pretty good but whatevs.
When it was announced that there would actually be a movie and I saw the real castings, I wasn’t so sure about it but I thought that if the movie was written and directed well that they may be able to pull it off. I guess I tried to remain hopeful after being somewhat disappointed in their choices.
So, fast forward a few years and the movie was finally released. I had been keeping a close eye on the reviews and it wasn’t looking good, so I made the decision to (GASP) download the movie rather than going to see it in theaters. This did not bode well, when I wait for years for a film and end up deciding not to bother paying to go see it.
Here’s the trailer for those who are behind:
So what did I think? It sucked. I really can’t explain it any better than that, it just sucked through and through. While the casting definitely wasn’t ideal, I really feel like the actors really didn’t have anything good to work with. The movie was cheesy, poorly written, and just completely groan worthy. There were many times where I was tempted to just turn it off but instead I knitted, browsed the web and multitasked because the movie honestly wasn’t worth having my full attention.
It all sort of worked out the way I thought. Well, in most cases.
I think that if given the right material that Katherine Heigl may have actually been ok as Stephanie… but in this film, it was terrible. Her accent was ridiculous, she was stiff, boring and just did not bring Stephanie Plum to life in any way, shape or form.
Ranger and Morelli? Eugh… Neither one of them did it for me at all.
I had a little hope for Daniel Sunjata as Ranger after watching him on Rescue Me, but he wasn’t Ranger, he just wasn’t. He was missing something… I don’t know if it was that hard edge or raw sex appeal that you imagine Ranger having in the books. I also can’t figure out where I got the idea that Ranger had long hair, maybe I added that in my own mind. Either way, it just wasn’t working.
Jason O’Mara was no better, actually that situation was even worse. When I heard he was being cast as Morelli I hadn’t heard of him before and had never seen him in anything. He had a new show come out last year (Tera Nova) that I watched briefly and I did like him but still was skeptical about him playing Morelli. I don’t know if it was the writing or his acting but it was painful to watch him. Again, the accent was horrid, and every time he called Stephanie cupcake I wanted to turn the movie off and just give up on it completely. It was so forced, there was absolutely no chemistry between them and he was so far from what I imagined Morelli to be.
One that I was sort of on the fence about after watching the film was Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur. I wasn’t a huge fan of this idea going in but she did ok. Again, she did ok with what she was given. I still didn’t find her to be as outlandish as we all know Grandma Mazur to be and physically she wasn’t even close. Grandma Mazur is meant to stick out like a sore thumb, she is flashy and crazy and a big ball of nutso. Debbie Reynolds just wasn’t given THAT role. She was given some watered down version of what Grandma Mazur was supposed to be and she did ok with that. The role sucked, she didn’t.
There are two characters where after seeing the film left me still believing that they got the casting right, and that’s Vinnie and Lula.
Patrick Fischler was about as VINNIE and Vinnie gets. You may not know him by name but you know that when it comes to playing the creepy dude, this guy has it down pat. Again, and I feel like I’m repeating myself for the hundredth time, he just didn’t have the best material to work with. That said, his performance and character didn’t leave me grinding my teeth as much as those of the main characters. He had a smaller role, less screen time and I guess just wasn’t present enough to make me as crazy as the others. This guy is Vinnie, in my opinion.
Sherri Shepherd was great as Lula. When I say great I mean when I saw her I believed her as Lula, she was physically what I imagined and she showed the humorous side of Lula that we all love. Like in the books, she was my favorite part of the film. I’m not sure that’s saying much in this case seeing as I pretty much hated everything else but if I had to find a silver lining in this steaming turd of a movie, she would be it.
Those two are the only castings that I would have left exactly as they were if I were given the chance to recast this movie.
The rest of the characters… Stephanie’s parents, Connie and the other supporting roles, they were ok… not worth giving them their own paragraphs though. I’m not sure I’d change the castings but they didn’t thrill me to bits either.
So yeah, overall I wish I had a few extra limbs because two thumbs down just does not seem like enough. It was such a massive disappointment for the fans of this series and a wasted opportunity on their part. With the series now high into the teens, if this had been done properly there was a lot of potential there for some great sequels… but they blew it. Assholes.