HUSTLERS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Constance Wu, sexy. Lili Reinhart, sexy. Keke Palmer, sexy. Leading the pack at a glorious fifty years old, Jennifer Lopez, SUPER SEXY!!! In the new film Hustlers, sexuality is a weapon and it’s so fun to watch them use it. The music and pacing of this film are wonderful. It’s a blast to watch the cameos of stars like Usher and bit parts played by powerhouse singers Cardi B and Lizzo. Also, the acrobatics the women do in those high heels on the pole is amazing and exciting to watch.
The film revolves around these four, sexy women who are strippers that were at the top of their game. Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) is the best at a New York City top-end strip club that is frequented by Wall Street types. She becomes friends with Destiny (Constance Wu) who is new to the club and struggling to make enough money to take care of her beloved grandmother (Wai Ching Ho) who raised her. Under her tutelage Destiny and Ramona have become one of the top acts at the club. They are rolling in money and living large. That is until the financial crash that hit Wall Street and the whole country in 2008. It’s at this time that Destiny leaves the stripper life to have a baby and live happily ever after with her boyfriend. That is until he leaves her to be a single mom with a toddler and no job prospects.
Destiny is forced to return to the strip club and is appalled to see how bad off it’s gotten there. Russian strippers are actually doing sex acts at the club for three hundred dollars now. Destiny is degraded and down when she runs into Ramona who is also having troubles making ends meet. The old friends play catch up and that’s when Ramona comes up with a plan. They are going to go fishing at upscale bars for clients that they can use to ring up large tabs at the strip club. They drug their drinks with a concoction that will make them feel happy and drunk enough to take to the strip club. Once there they sign on the card to open a tab and pass out. It erases their memory of what happened that night. The club gets their cut, so do the girls, and the guys get the bill.
They are making so much money that they can’t do it alone so they bring in strippers they can trust to help them break the law. First is Mercedes (Keke Palmer) who needs some money to get her fiancé out of jail. Next is Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) who can’t go back to her family who disowned her once they found out she was a stripper. Together they are bringing in thousands of dollars a night. Everything is good until they introduce strippers that are unreliable to help handle the load. The cops get involved and the rest you will have to see at the theater.
Hustlers at its surface looks like just a flashy caper film but it’s surprisingly so much more. I enjoyed the way it shows the real friendships between the core group of women. Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria does an amazing job telling this story. The film, based on the real-life of the strippers that lived it, is a creative way of examining the effects of the recession through a more intimate, less political lens. It’s more of a boots, or in this case stilettos, on the ground approach to the fall out our country endured.
I give Hustlers an A rating for such strong performances from the whole cast. So, grab your friends, put on your cha-cha shoes, and go enjoy this awesome movie.
Directed by Lorene Scafaria
Written by Lorena Scafaria
Selig Rating A
Running Time 1hr 49min
Wide Release September 13th
Starring: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.