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Film / Mo' Money

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"This summer, why settle for less—When you can have Mo'."

Mo' Money is a 1992 action comedy film directed by Peter Macdonald and starring Damon and Marlon Wayans, about two small-time con men from the inner city who find themselves lost in the dizzying world of honest-to-God fraud at the corporate level, and hilarity/drama ensues. The title references back to an otherwise unrelated Damon-Marlon routine from In Living Color!, which portrayed the duo as fencers parlaying their goods via cheap late night cut-rate "crazy prices" commercials. The movie also features early appearances of Harry Lennix as a milquetoast black businessman and Stacey Dash as the object of desire in a workplace love triangle.

Johnny (Damon) and Seymour (Marlon) are brothers in Chicago who get by on small scams and cons. Things go alright until Johnny meets Amber, an alluring and polished young woman who visits a Three Card Monte table run by Seymour. Attracted to her, and innately familiar with the game, Johnny whispers the right card into Amber's ear multiple times, ruining Seymour's table. Johnny discovers that Amber works at Diners Club office, and Johnny makes it his mission to infiltrate the company and get closer to her. Through an embellished resume, Johnny is interviewed and hired for a mail clerk position, which gives him ample opportunity to visit Amber and become familiar with other managers and office workers, including Tom (Lennix) and Keith Heading (John Diehl). While wooing the classy Amber, who is in a rocky relationship with Tom, Johnny discovers and becomes embroiled in a high-stakes embezzlement plot orchestrated by Heading that risks incriminating Johnny and Amber. The group of Johnny, Seymour, and Amber develop a plan to trick the embezzlers into exposing their scam, saving the company from a million dollar loss, winning Amber's heart, and raising Johnny's status.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Keith will treat you well if you're on his good side, though if you do get on his bad side, then he's Faux Affably Evil, putting on the Benevolent Boss act as he plots your death .
  • Asian Store-Owner: Habibi's Deli.
  • Can Always Spot a Cop: Johnny outs a random bum sleeping in an alley as an undercover cop before Seymour can steal money from him. Much to the chagrin of the undercover policeman.
    Johnny: Good evening officer!
    Undercover Cop: Keep moving smartass or I'll take you in!
  • Con Man: Johnny and Seymour are small time versions, while Keith Heading is a big-time version.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    Mr. Shift: You wouldn't happen to be related to Tracy Stewart, would you?
    Johnny: Yeah, that's my aunt.
    Mr. Shift: He's a man.
    Johnny: His *wife* is my aunt.
  • Genki Girl: Jill at the interview room.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Keith. Even at the beginning of the film, it's clear that he's someone you don't want to mess with.
  • Love Triangle: Johnny, Amber, and Tom.
  • Not Quite Dead: Keith. But is later Killed Off for Real
  • Playing Sick: To score lunch, Johnny fakes an Instant Illness, complete with Convulsive Seizures. As Johnny trashes the store, Seymour urges the owner to make a sandwich with lots of "lactate" in order to resolve the violent reaction.
  • Title Drop: As the last frame, of Johnny and Amber's kiss in the hospital bed, "shrinks" away. "Mo' money, mo' money, MO' MONEY!"
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Seymour and Charlotte.