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Milk Money is a 1994 American romantic comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Melanie Griffith and Ed Harris. The film is about three suburban 11-year-old boys who find themselves behind in the battle of the sexes, believing they would regain the upper hand if they could just see a real, live naked lady.
The film received generally negative reviews from critics.
Three junior high school boys—Brad (Adam LaVorgna), Frank (Michael Patrick Carter) and Kevin (Brian Christopher)—travel from their bedroom suburb of Middleton to the city, bringing money with hopes of seeing a woman naked. They find a hooker named V (Melanie Griffith) who is willing to show her breasts. However, when they decide to head home, they find their bikes have been stolen, leaving them broke and stuck in the city. V speaks with her drug dealing pimp named Cash (Casey Siemaszko), and another hooker, Betty (Anne Heche). Cash has been skimming money that he sends to mob collector Waltzer (Malcolm McDowell), who in turn steals from his own boss, Jerry The Pope (Philip Bosco). V notices the boys outside in the rain and offers them a ride back home in Cash s car.
After they arrive at Frank s house, the car V was using suddenly breaks down so she goes inside to use the phone. Tom (Ed Harris), Frank s father, comes home and is surprised to find a woman in the house. Unbeknownst to V, Frank tells Tom that V is a math tutor and that she s giving lessons to Brad. Tom offers to repair her car in a few days when he is free from his science classes at school. With no other option, she accepts Frank s offer to stay in his tree house without Tom s knowledge. Frank begins a close friendship with V, hoping to set her up with his father. He tells her Tom has no problem with her job, meaning the tutoring ruse, but she thinks he means her prostitution.
V learns from television that Cash has been murdered by Waltzer. She phones Betty only to discover that Waltzer is looking for her – Cash told him that she stole the money. She realizes that he is overhearing the conversation and hangs up. With V s car still broken down, she gets Tom s old bike from the garage and rushes to find him. He is on a field trip to the town s wetlands, undeveloped natural land that he is attempting to save from development. He is unable to repair her car any sooner, but she realizes that she is probably safer in Middleton, since Waltzer doesn t know where she is.
At school, Frank flunks a biology test about sex education and must give his class an oral presentation. He decides to use V as a mannequin and through a ruse distracts his teacher long enough to draw a relatively accurate female reproductive system on her skin-colored bodysuit. Tom and V go out on a date and both realize they are developing feelings for each other. While walking through town on their date, Tom and V run into Kevin s family. V recognizes Kevin s father, who is a client, but he initially says she has him mixed up with someone else before admitting to remembering her and says she was a dance teacher. Tom is impressed with how busy V is being a tutor and dance teacher; V then realizes that Frank had actually lied about Tom knowing about her prostitution. V explains herself to Tom, and their relationship grows. She reveals that her real name is Eve, which she thought was too biblical so she removed the “e”s. Kevin s father unwittingly calls her home phone number, which he had in his pocket notebook, in an attempt to purchase her services again. He talks to Betty; and Waltzer, who happens to be there also, learns from Betty about the trip to Middleton, thus finding out where V is hiding.
V is terrified that Waltzer will find her so she decides to leave town but attends a school dance to say goodbye to Frank. Waltzer shows up to spoil their fun. A chase ensues, with Waltzer finally being eliminated. Anxious about her status and afraid to return to her old job, V goes to Waltzer s boss and relates how he has been cheating him. She asks to be forgotten by them. The older crime boss succumbs to her charms and he tells her he ll take care of things and that she doesn t need to be afraid anymore, while also allowing her to walk away from prostitution for good. V finds the stolen money in a backpack and uses it to buy the wetlands in Tom s name; it is also revealed that she purchased the ice cream parlor in town, so she can carry on with her new relationship.
- Melanie Griffith as Eve V
- Ed Harris as Tom Wheeler
- Michael Patrick Carter as Frank Wheeler
- Malcolm McDowell as Waltzer
- Anne Heche as Betty
- Philip Bosco as Jerry The Pope
- Casey Siemaszko as Cash
- Brian Christopher as Kevin
- Adam LaVorgna as Brad
- Margaret Nagle as Mrs. Fetch
- Kevin Youkilis as Kid (uncredited)
The screenplay written by John Mattson was sold to Paramount Pictures in 1992 for $1.1 million, a record for a romantic comedy spec script. Mattson was sued by Dino De Laurentiis (DDLC); the lawsuit alleged that Mattson s agent had made a verbal agreement to sell the script to DDLC for $1 million, before selling the script to Paramount for $1.1 million. The film was originally set up with Joe Dante to direct and his frequent partner, Michael Finnell, to produce, but they left the project over disputes regarding the budget and their fees. Paramount had wanted Dante to work for less than his normal directing fee, and to shoot the film in Canada using a non-union crew with a budget of $14 million.
Shot in various locations in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Lebanon, Ohio, the story is set in a Pennylvania suburb named Middleton , outside of an unnamed city (for which parts of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were used).
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 12% based on reviews from 42 critics with the consensus: Ill-conceived and cheap when it comes to cleverness, Milk Money is a more than a few cents short of a good time. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.
Siskel & Ebert speculated that it may have been made by Hollywood executives with an affinity for hookers. In print, Roger Ebert opted not for a conventional negative review, but to portray it as the result of a fictional conversation between two studio executives. Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave it a negative review and suggested Milk Money may be the first brainless American comedy that deserves to be remade by the French . Maslin said Griffith brings a certain irrepressible gusto to her role and Harris manages to be improbably charming . Variety called it a misguided comedy with Hall of Shame pedigree and The film is obvious, loud, mean-spirited and has its mind in the gutter.
At the 15th Golden Raspberry Awards, the film was nominated for Worst Screenplay, but it lost to The Flintstones.
Year-end worst-of lists
- 2nd – Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
- 4th – Dan Craft, The Pantagraph
- 6th – Janet Maslin, The New York Times
- 9th – Robert Denerstein, Rocky Mountain News
- Top 10 (not ranked) – Betsy Pickle, Knoxville News-Sentinel
The film was released on VHS in March 1995 and DVD on September 9, 2003. It was presented in anamorphic widescreen in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
|Plot||A group of young boys befriend a prostitute named, V.|
|Awards||Awards, 1 nomination|
|Stars||Melanie Griffith, Ed Harris, Michael Patrick Carter|
|Produced by||Michael Finnell,Kathleen Kennedy,Frank Marshall,Patrick J. Palmer|
|Music by||Michael Convertino|
|Cinematography by||David Watkin|
|Film Editing by||Jacqueline Cambas|
|Casting By||Mary Goldberg,Amy Lippens|
|Production Design by||Paul Sylbert|
|Set Decoration by||Casey Hallenbeck|
|Costume Design by||Theoni V. Aldredge|
|Makeup Department||Richard Arias,Kathryn Blondell,Naomi Donne,Jeffrey Sacino,Nadege Schoenfeld|
|Production Management||Patrick J. Palmer|
|Second Unit Director or Assistant Director||Vincent Agostino,Aimee DeBaun,Cara Giallanza,Scott Harris,Frank Marshall,Scott Metcalfe,Patrick J. Palmer,Jon C. Scheide|
|Art Department||Michael Charboneau,Harold Collins,Jeanette D’Ambrosio-Sylbert,Antoinette J. Gordon,Horst Grandt,Tony Guastella,Kelley A. Hankins,Lee J. Jashinsky,Michael Kolb,Roderick Nunnally,Larry Phillips,Lawrence ‘Al’ Plate,David Tully,Sarah Young,Paul Bucciarelli,Charlotte Garnell-Scheide,Sherman Labby|
|Sound Department||Bob Baron,Neil Burrow,Richard Burton,Lucy Coldsnow-Smith,Michael Covert,Gabriel Cubos,Chris David,Mike Dobie,Juno J. Ellis,Matthew Harrison,Denise Horta,Scott D. Jackson,Doc Kane,Constance A. Kazmer,Gary Krivacek,Richard Lightstone,Michael Magill,Paul Massey,Alan Robert Murray,Kim Nolan,Bob O’Brien,Jonathan Phillips,Catherine Rowe,Joan Rowe,Dennis S. Sands,Kim Secrist,Craig Sims,Randy Singer,Karen G. Wilson,Rickley W. Dumm|
|Special Effects by||Alan E. Lorimer,Bruce Mattox,Lambert Powell,Paul Stewart|
|Visual Effects by||Pablo Ferro|
|Stunts||Rocky Capella,Annie Ellis,Richard M. Ellis,Rusty Hanson,Kevin Larson,David D. Renaud,Sarah Richter,Ronnie Rondell Jr.,Lori Lynn Ross,Cris Thomas-Hice,Scott Wilder,Danny Wynands,Tom Glass,Cris Thomas-Palomino|
|Camera and Electrical Department||Stephen Beacock,Kevin Boyd,David Brink,Robin Browne,Greg Bubb,Bill Coe,Thomas E. Dignan Jr.,Brent Dignan,James P. Dolan,Jon Baronn Farmer,Kenneth Fundus,Timothy J. Gindele,Richard Guinness Jr.,Tim Guinness,Billy Kerwick,Vincent E. Moore,Harald Ortenburger,Robert Rycroft,Patrick T. Sheridan,James C. Walsh,S.B. Weathersby,Jeff Barklage,Paul Colangelo,Pat Dames,Andrew Hoehn Jr.,Ethan Phillips|
|Casting Department||Jennifer Appleberry,Kathy Binns,Barbara Harris,D. Lynn Meyers|
|Costume and Wardrobe Department||Carol Buckler,Brian Callahan,Pam Cane,Robin K Fields,Wallace G. Lane Jr.,Linda Matthews,Nava R. Sadan|
|Editorial Department||Margaret Adachi,William Fletcher,Paul Martinez,Hillary Murray,Theresa Repola Mohammed,Sean T. Stratton|
|Location Management||Deirdre Costa,Nathan Gendzier,Jule Ann Jappe|
|Music Department||Christie Barnes,Bob Bornstein,Sandy DeCrescent,Artie Kane,Bobby Muzingo,John Neufeld,Conrad Pope,Dennis S. Sands,Kenneth Wannberg,Richard Whitfield,Tom Boyd,Denise Carver,Geoff Maxwell,William Pearson,James Thatcher|
|Script and Continuity Department||Karen Hale Wookey|
|Transportation Department||Oscar Beguiristain,Bucky Braunsdorf,Michael Sean Ryan,George Bolton|
|Additional Crew||Kelly Barr,Tracy Beckman,Troy A. Blome,Brook Bobbitt,Nathaniel Bonini,Lesley Brander,Richard Brander,Joe Cacciotti,Robert C. Campion,Annie Casper,Alan Collis,Debbie Cottle,Pablo Ferro,Wayne Gee,Rhona Gordon,Jim Hills,West Humphries,Annamarie Maricle Jennaway,Barry Kirschner,Susanne T. Kloeb,Stephanie Laing,Sonya Lunsford,Ian Edward Martin,Caitlin McLean,Mark Mench,Crystal Moffett,Bill Murphy,Susan Paley,Mary T. Radford,Candisse Reynolds,David Sander,Adam Shankman,Shelly Spotleson Sinclair,Debbie Tieman,Susan Trembly,Sib Ventress,S.B. Weathersby,Yvonne Yaconelli,Erin M. Corken,Gina D’Orazio,Carrie Fisher,Steve Grothaus,John Mattingly|
|Companies||Paramount Pictures, The Kennedy/Marshall Company|
|Keywords||blonde,boy,school,classroom,female reproductive system|