Every once in a while, a project comes along that’s just so weird in all the right ways that it forces you to do a double take. It’s not exactly that it’s bad or even that outlandish. It’s just such an assortment of words and phrases that don’t seem to go together, strung together into a Mad Libs style movie that you just can’t follow. That’s exactly the case with the upcoming film Hustlers, the based-on-a-true-story caper that will see Jennifer Lopez as a stripper who leads an army of your favorite actresses to rob the Wall Street execs who caused the Great Recession. Huh.
Based on the 2015 New York article “The Hustlers at Scores,” Hustlers follows the lives of six strippers in a high-end New York strip club: Ramona (Lopez), Destiny (Constance Wu), Diamond (Cardi B), Mercedes (Keke Palmer), Annabelle (Lili Reinhart), and Liz (Lizzo). The group has fallen on hard times recently, thanks to the Recession, and are constantly angered by their largest clientele – the ones who caused the Recession in the first place. Soon, the women decide that the best course of action isn’t to get mad – it’s to get even. Concocted by Destiny and executed by Ramona, the group uses their anonymity, seduction, and acting skills to steal hundreds of thousands from the scum that walk into their establishments.
I just…I have so many questions about this film. And strangely enough, while I normally write that sentence to describe something bad, this time I mean it as a small-scale miracle. I mean, this is a Big Short style comedy-drama starring a rom-com starlet, one of the hottest sitcom stars on the planet, two former teen stars, and two singers in their acting debuts. They are all playing strippers who game the system. It is written and directed by underrated gem Lorene Scafaria. And to top it all off, this terrific trailer is scored to a Cardi B song – one of the stars of the film. Nevertheless, as confused as I am by this project, I’m wholeheartedly onboard. I love those actresses, I love this premise, I love the execution. Count me in on opening day. The film also stars Academy Award-Winner Mercedes Ruehl, Trace Lysette, Usher, and Julia Stiles as the reporter covering their case. The film will be released in theaters September 13th, following a quick stint at the Toronto International Film Festival. You can watch the full trailer below.