Sling Movie Rental of the Week, Dec. 17-23: Hustlers
Based on a true story, Hustlers is a sleeper for one of the top movies of 2019. It features a star-studded cast — Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, G-Eazy, Usher, and Cardi B (who is a former stripper herself) — and an almost too-wild-to-be-true story.
Ramona (Lopez) and Destiny (Wu) are two former strippers whose careers, like many others, were crushed by the 2008 recession. After parting ways for a few years, they eventually reunite and realize the stripping landscape is not the same as it once was. So, what do they do? They turn to an illegal money-grabbing scheme, of course!
Their con game is simple: Target a man with money, get him drunk (but not too drunk), sprinkle in some drugs, then rack up as much as they can on his credit card. It’s seriously amusing to watch, and I’m not afraid to admit that. There’s something about taking from the rich that feels a lot less immoral than taking from the poor (just ask Robin Hood). But things inevitably get messy, and Ramona and Destiny have to decide if this is truly the lifestyle they want to be living.
The film is directed by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), who apparently cleared her schedule for two years so that she could direct it. Originally, producers sought Martin Scorsese but he declined, and Scafaria was picked. I’m ecstatic they chose a female director, since creating a true-crime film about strippers is a tough task if you’re not a woman or an exotic dancer (Scafaria presumably had Cardi B to help with the latter). I also love that all of the men in the film are extremely background characters — beyond the message, this is what makes it such a powerful feminist film.
Jennifer Lopez — who is 50-years-old — is truly impressive as Ramona. She trained intensely for the role (uh, that pole dancing scene?!), and it paid off, as she completely personifies the experienced dancer willing to take a protégé under her wing. Wu is equally impressive as the innocent Destiny, who has to start working beyond her moral boundaries in order to pay the bills. There’s some serious character development with Destiny, and I’m here for it.
There’s a good reason why Hustlers became a word-of-mouth hit; don’t hesitate to give it a go during your movie night on Sling.
Hustlers is now available to rent for a one-time purchase of $5.99.
Other new movies now available:
Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest
The Witch Behind The Door
In God I Trust
The Road to Edmond
Bernie the Dolphin 2
Rambo: Last Blood
2 in the Bush: A Love Story
Where’s My Roy Cohn?
Dude Perfect Trick Shots