Combustible Celluloid
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With: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B, Mercedes Ruehl, Trace Lysette, Wai Ching Ho, Mette Towley, Madeline Brewer, Frank Whaley, Paul Nielsen, Brandon Keener, Steven Boyer, Jon Glaser, Gerald Gillam, Devin Ratray, Rhys Coiro, Jovanni Ortiz, Big Jay Oakerson, Usher
Written by: Lorene Scafaria, based on an article by Jessica Pressler
Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive sexual material, drug content, language and nudity
Running Time: 110
Date: 09/13/2019

Hustlers (2019)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Pole Positions

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lorene Scafaria (the wonderful Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) directed and wrote the screenplay for Hustlers, based on a New York Magazine article. A stripper called Destiny (Constance Wu) is caring for her grandmother and barely making ends meet, when she meets the exotic Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez), who teaches her the ropes. Later, after the crash of 2008, the women dream up a scheme to drug their male clients and enjoy the perks of their credit cards; the victimized men are too afraid of scandal to do anything about it. Destiny later tells the whole thing to a reporter (I think?), played by Julia Stiles. Similar to both Widows and The Kitchen, with equally little to say, the movie purports to be some kind of feminist statement, but its repetitive nature and its fizzle of an ending don't really make much of an impact. Lopez wound up getting tons of award buzz for her performance, though I'm not sure if that's because of her acting, or because the fiftyish diva looks amazing in her skimpy outfits.

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