Hustlers is a crime drama written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler. Jennifer Lopez is also a producer on the film through Nuyorican Productions, alongside Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay through their Gloria Sanchez banner. The plot follows a crew of strippers in New York City who begin to steal money by drugging stock traders and CEOs who visit their club, then running up their credit cards. I had no idea the New Yorker article would become a movie, they did a good job.
**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****
In 2014, former New York City-based stripper Dorothy/Destiny (Constance Wu) is invited for an interview with Elizabeth (Julia Stiles), a journalist working on a story involving Dorothy’s former friend and mentor, Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez). Seven years prior, Dorothy, known by her stripper name as Destiny, is working at Moves, a strip club, to support her grandmother (Wai Ching Ho) but is barely getting by. Mesmerized by Ramona’s performance plus all the tips she earns, Destiny meets her on the roof of the club. Ramona looks Destiny over and decides to take her under her wing thus forming a formidable team. Destiny enjoys her newfound wealth and friendship with Ramona. A year later (2007), the financial crisis strikes and both women find themselves short of cash. Destiny becomes pregnant and bows out of the stripper scene. Unable to find a regular job,
Destiny goes back to stripping at the club but Moves has changed: the financial crisis has impacted their business, and the club is primarily staffed by immigrant women from Russia willing to perform sex acts for money, a line Destiny is unwilling to cross. She reconnects with Ramona, who introduces her to a new scheme. Along with her two protegées, Mercedes (Keke Palmer) and Annabelle (Lili Reinhart), Ramona targets rich men at bars, get them drunk, then escorts them to Moves where the girls steal their credit card numbers and charge them to their limit. Destiny joins in and learns Ramona uses a mix of ketamine and MDMA to impair judgment and cause memory loss in their targets, a tactic deemed worthwhile since their victims will rarely admit to being robbed by strippers.
Hustlers is a pretty decent, indecent movie about some very hard working women who feel instant, illegal money is worth the risk of jail. I must first mention 50-year old J. Lo has done a magnificent job of keeping her body sexy, tight and presentable for any role she’s up for. While she looked a little amazon-ish next to 37-year-old Constance Wu, she still has it going on. However, none were a match for Keke Palmer (26 years old) who was a fantastic addition to the gang. Hustlers is obviously not for children nor is it for sanctified worshippers who don’t need to see how some desperate women choose to live their lives for money. Hustlers pretty much keeps you intrigued and entertained. The film has grossed $110 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics, with Lopez’s performance singled out for praise. I enjoyed Hustlers, especially the brilliant performances by J. Lo and Constance. I recommend Hustlers for those who don’t mind a good sexy movie. Check It Out!