The selling point of For Love or Money is the outrageous premise that’s established well in the trailer. It offers a familiar dynamic, but is so suggestive towards the film’s comedic potential that viewers are naturally reeled in. If you enjoyed How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or What Happens in Vegas, here’s a movie for you.
For Love or Money is about a conniving couple, Mark and Connie, who are playing chicken with each other unbeknownst to the other person. It’s a British comedy that teeters on farce as Connie (Les Misérables’ Samantha Barks) plots to inherit a multi-million dollar payday by divorcing her soon-to-be husband, Mark (Robert Kazinsky). When Mark finds out about Connie’s plan, he gets even by making her life a living hell leading up to the wedding with the intent for her to abandon ship. With the help of her co-conspirator side-hunk Johnny (Ed Speleers), Connie is in this for the long run.
This funny film stretches its silly set-up as far as it can, ultimately falling off the ledge in the third act when Connie’s perversive parents are used for a dumb and uncomfortable gag involving Mark’s loyal friend Tim (Tony Way). But otherwise, the film gets by on amusing audacity that continues to stimulate the audience’s curiosity. As obviously incompatible as Mark and Connie are, Kazinsky and Barks spark an addictive, competitive chemistry that works well with the stubbornness of their characters. Even when the film fails to bridge its soft angle as Mark and Connie have their moments of clarity, the leads still have our attention.
Other than a few missteps, writer/director Mark Murphy pulls off For Love or Money’s premise by delivering quality comfort entertainment.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie