She ain’t got no money in the bank

With a solid acting core, led by a trio of well noted actresses, Queen Latifah, Diane Keaton, and Katie Holmes, the PG comedy “Mad Money,” doesn’t fail to meet the expectations of its genre.

“Mad Money” might not win any Oscars or be the must-see movie of ’08, but it serves as good resource to a couple looking for a comically-tickling, mid-week date or a family looking for a fun, non-raunchy film in a time of racy productions.

“Mad Money” can be described as a slightly better-than-mediocre-knock-off of “Oceans Eleven,” containing a watered-down plot which offers three co-workers at the Federal Reserve scamming the Feds out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Keaton plays an upper-middle class, middle-aged woman working maintenance at the Federal Reserve. She comes up with a scheme to embezzle bundles of would-be shredded, worn-out dollars.

Katie Holmes plays a ditsy, young, money cart transporter (she escorts money throughout the Reserve). She is too clumsy and odd to be suspected which gives her relevance in the plot. Holmes plays a role we’re not accustomed to seeing her in which is refreshing, in contrast to Latifah who plays the usual strong, independent woman figure known to bring a couple of quality laughs per movie.

Although the film displayed good chemistry between the three head actresses, the downfall of the movie would be the numerous flaws and plot holes within the script. The writers violated the basic principle of any fictional movie based on a potential felony: any intricate scheme must be thoroughly explained for viewers to understand how clever the idea really is, and why it would work.

Throughout the movie, a plethora of question marks will leave viewers who overlook the fact that the movie is a comedy heavily cynical at times. The movie also fails to shed insight on the motives of Keaton’s character, a well-off middle-aged woman living in suburbia. Why would she organize such a heist?

Overlooking the holes in the story line, “Mad Money,” can be considered an overall good film: nothing to rave about, but not a bad effort.

2.5/4 stars