Mad Money

dir. Callie Khouri

Opens Fri Jan 18

Various Theaters

A Hollywood dream team for the post-menopausal set, Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, and Queen Latifah star as Federal Reserve employees who hatch a brilliantly (read: ludicrously) simple plan to sneak away with some of that worthless American currency before it hits the shredder. 'Course, they get busted—but along the way they learn something about love or trust or friendship or whatever. Frankly, I don't know; I wasn't really paying attention. (One thing that did catch my eye, however, was the awesomely transparent focus group addendum conspicuously tacked on the end of the film—needless to say, there's no room for sore feelings in a movie custom made to cater to a housewife's desperate escapist fantasies.) Fans of semi-geriatric Diane Keaton gettin' randy with semi-geriatric Ted Danson, of Mrs. Tom Cruise's uncontrollable Play-Doh face, and especially of excessively rapturous money-throwing sequences: Your ship officially has come in. For the rest of us, Mad Money stands to offer little more than the potential "formatted to fit your television" sort of diversion you'll need whilst nursing that Sunday morning hangover sometime around 2011. And for that, it'll do just fine. ZAC PENNINGTON

27 Dresses

dir. Anne Fletcher

Fri Jan 18

Various Theaters

In short, 27 Dresses is a rage-inducing waste of Knocked Up's lovely Katherine Heigl. Ripping off nearly every moment from My Best Friend's Wedding, this crappy rom-com storms your sensibilities with a blitzkrieg of clichés. (Sing-along? Check. Annoying blonde bride? Check. Unrequited love? Check.) Designed for walking stereotypes, 27 Dresses will only bring enjoyment to treacly tweens and husband-hunting sorority girls.

Heigl plays Jane, a freak of nature who so desperately wants to get married that she's been a bridesmaid in 27 weddings. Jane's never said "no" to anyone in her life—ever—which makes her the perfect doormat for her boss, George (Edward Burns), fetching his dry cleaning and feeding him breakfast burritos like a lovesick puppy. Jane is infinitely hateable, a selfless, self-esteem challenged moron. So when her "attractive" sister, Tess (Malin Akerman, whose underbite looks like it's trying to swallow her face) shows up and steals Jane's unrequited love, George, that's when the drip starts to get a backbone. Seriously, do you even care about the plot? You've seen it all before. COURTNEY FERGUSON

The Amateurs

dir. Michael Traeger

Opens Fri Jan 18

Clinton Street Theater

A movie about porn for people who don't like porn. (Tourists!) Despite a fairly decent cast including Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson, and Glenne Headly (who was once married to John Malkovich and apparently, is all kinds of smart), The Amateurs never lives up to its quirky potential. One of the Gilmore Girls—Lauren Graham, the old one—is in it too, playing Jeff Bridges' love interest, but no, she isn't in any of the porn scenes. (How old is Jeff Bridges anyway? Wasn't Starman made in Nineteen Aught Five or something?)

In fact, there aren't any porn scenes in this movie about porn. Set in Some Small Town Who Gives a Crap USA, Bridges and his pals, for some reason, decide to make the most boring amateur porn movie ever. And along the way, Bridges narrates the story in his best Garrison Keillor voice. It's all very soothing and nothing really bad ever happens. My mom would love it. Actually, if you could divide the world into two camps—people who watch The Shield and people who watch Matlock—the Matlock people would poop themselves over this movie. A ringing endorsement if I've ever heard one. Oh! And Ted Danson plays a gay. Whee! KIALA KAZEBEE