Who knew it would be so much fun to watch a few New York strippers turn the tables on their customers? It’s a pretty bleak story at its heart, and yet fun is still the best word I can think of to describe Hustlers.
Destiny (Constance Wu) is working at a New York City strip club. Impressed by fellow dancer Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), she seeks her out for some professional advice. Ramona takes Destiny under her wing, and for a while, they are both making serious money. Destiny gets pregnant and the two lose touch. A few years later and the financial crash of 2008 has hit strip clubs hard. Ramona and Destiny team up once again, this time to take advantage of the men who used to be their customers. They drug them, run out their credit cards at the same strip clubs where they used to dance, and everyone gets a cut.
Oh, and did we mention, this is all based on a true story?
I have a feeling that the cast in Hustlers had a blast making the film. They certainly look like they’re having the time of their lives throughout the movie. Some of the best moments are when the characters are just hanging out. Whether it was backstage at the strip club or exchanging gifts at their Christmas party, the chemistry just leaped off the screen.
The moral of the story is a bit murky. If you’re prone to overthinking things- which I confess that I am-it’s hard to resolve your feelings over the characters. Sure, they were having fun. Sure, they had some solid motivations. Yes, their victims were not good people. That said, are you supposed to root for someone drugging people and stealing their money? In the movie, Destiny says “Hurt people hurt people.” It seems like an overly simplistic justification for some pretty bad acts.
Hustlers is best enjoyed by putting the questionable morals of the leads aside and just enjoying the ride. And man, what a fun ride it is.
Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. The film was inspired by the article published by New York Magazine entitled “The Hustlers at Scores” written by Jessica Pressler.