Mad Money Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Mad Money opens with an image bound to get your attention: A upper crust suburban couple—Don and Bridget Cardigan (Ted Danson and Diane Keaton)—are stuffing dollar bills into a paper shredder, then flushing the scraps down the toilet. Cut to Nina Brewster (Queen Latifah), a single mother who is burning her 10s and 20s as fast as an outdoor fire can consume them. Next there’s Jackie Truman and her husband Bob (Katie Holmes and Adam Rothenberg) anxiously leaving their trailer home as if it were about to blow up…
To discover how these people got in such a strange predicament we fade back three years and meet the employees of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank that are about to become co-conspirators in a get-rich-easy scheme.
Bridget is accustomed to a cushy lifestyle, until the day Don comes home without a job. When the middle-aged man resigns himself to a stack of rejection letters and buries his head in the sofa, Bridget is left with no other options. Heading to the unemployment office she finds the only work her degree in comparative literature qualifies her for—custodial duties at the government institution.
But cleaning toilets is only the beginning of her on-the-job training. Observing Nina shredding millions of dollars in currency, the wheels start to turn in Bridget’s brain. Befriending the single mother and convincing her that there must be some way to take some of her paperwork home, the pair hatches an elaborate plan. They only need one more participant—blithe Jackie who pushes carts full of worn out cash up and down the halls of the building.
Although few crimes can elicit as much sympathy as stealing money from a faceless source (such as the government)—especially when the benefactors will be three overworked and underpaid women—the movie falls short of generating that emotion. Perhaps that is because of the focus on Keaton’s character. Considering the home where Bridget lives could easily be traded for a nice condo and a better education, it’s difficult to feel for her plight. And it’s even harder as you watch the woman add more feathers to her already plush nest by talking single mom Nina into putting her job on the line.
Along with the glamorization of illegal behavior, parents will find moderate amounts of mild profanities and infrequent scatological expletives. A security guard who utters constant verbal innuendo and uses his metal detecting wand on women in a way that should have him out the door faster than a bank robber contributes to the movie’s sexual content, as do discussions convincing a single woman to have sex with a man in order to get his help. We also see images of women stuffing money in their underwear, a close-up of a hand putting a bill into a sting bikini bottom, and a male mooning.
The film’s script liberally foreshadows the outcome of their decisions. Aside from the included snippet of the end before the beginning, we see characters being interviewed by police throughout the movie. Their confessions act as the storyteller that narrates us through the heist. While there are enough unanswered questions to maintain our curiosity, by the time everything is added up, this lackluster comedy is poor on entertainment value—not to mention being ethically bankrupt.Starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes,. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release January 17, 2008. Updated April 30, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Mad Money rated PG-13? Mad Money is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual material and language, and brief drug references
Three women working at a Federal Reserve Bank decide to pad their incomes with some worn out cash that is destined for the paper shredder. With the goal of convincing each other (and the audience) that taking money about to be thrown away isn’t really stealing, there are obvious ethical concerns in the script. As well, parents will find sexual innuendo with discussions about how frequently people have sex and two people convincing a woman to begin a sexual relationship with a man who could benefit their plan. A man in a position of authority sexually harasses female co-workers. Visual sexual content includes a scene where women stuff money in their underwear and a close-up of a hand putting a bill in a string bikini bottom. A male bares his buttocks in a mooning stint. A couple is seen passionately embracing and kissing. Language includes a moderate number of mild profanities, terms of deity and a few scatological expletives. Violence is limited to an explosion (no one is injured) and arrests by police officers with guns. Frequent social drinking is portrayed.
Page last updated April 30, 2009
Mad Money Parents' Guide
Bank robbers are often portrayed in movies as sympathetic characters. Why do you think audiences are more likely to forgive crimes involving stealing money as opposed to other illegal activities? Does this same sentiment extend into reality?
The most recent home video release of Mad Money movie is May 12, 2008. Here are some details…
Mad Money goes for broke with this DVD release that includes audio commentary by director Callie Khouri, a behind-the-scenes featurette and the film’s theatrical trailer. Available in either full frame or widescreen, the disc offers audio tracks in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo).
Related home video titles:
The three actresses in this movie have played more honorable characters in other films. Look for Daine Keaton playing a caring mother in Father of the Bride, Queen Latifah setting her priorities straight for one Last Holiday and Katie Holmes living up to her role as First Daughter.