"Hustlers" Movie Review

The trailer for the crime movie "Hustlers" went viral a month ago with its flashing lights, alluring superstars and bumping music. Just like the club the women work at, this movie draws thousands of audiences into the world of sex workers, or “hustlers” as they like to call themselves. The film is based on a 2015 article in New York Magazine about the Robin Hood strippers who began rob their clients in New York City. You can read the story that started it all here. Behind the glamorous clothes and stilettos, a group of women in the early 2000s began to scam and manipulate their clients in times of financial desperation. 

 The Girl Power

Obviously, the dressing room of a strip club is the ultimate location for girls supporting girls- think of being in the bathroom at a party with your BFFs- but in"Hustlers", the encouragement extended off the stage. From the beginning, Jennifer Lopez helps Constance Wu boost her confidence, and the two become an iconic duo at the club that attracts some of the richest customers. J Lo becomes an asset and motherly figure to the dancers, helping newcomer Lili Reinheart make enough cash to afford her own place for the first time and encourages Keke Palmer to rethink the instability of her relationship. No matter how hard times get at work, the women support one another at the end of the day, including the gang living together in times of need.​

 

 

 

The Realistic Struggles

While everyone may think of strippers as the most confident women ever, this movie shows that every working woman struggles. From your salary being based on your looks to the stock market crash of 2008, hustling isn't for the faint of heart. Several of the dancers are single mothers and discuss the reality of attempting to raise a family and be financially independent. Constance Wu uses her nightly earnings to take care of her grandmother and often mentions how she never wants to rely on a man. Other dancers deal with abusive relationships, body confidence and financial instability. Keeping in mind that this is based on a true story, we’re shown that being a stripper isn’t always fun times, money and free drinks.

The Women

This is the feature film debut for pop and rap stars Cardi B and Lizzo, who have created some of the ultimate anthems for girls everywhere. Constance Wu is known for starring in “Crazy Rich Asians”, the box office hit that featured an all Asain cast, and plays a strong-willed woman who is the daughter of immigrants. The cast is filled with powerful and honest women who portray the lives of the real women that the movie is based on, creating deeper meaning for all of the actresses. 

For some added inspiration: Jennifer Lopez professionally trained in pole dancing for the role, and completely rocks the stage at the age of 50.

 

"Hustlers" is a gripping good time whether you want to laugh with your girlfriends or learn about the dark side of sex work. The movie is already gaining Oscar buzz for Lopez and the female writer/director, Lorene Scafaria- both of which deserve all of the praise they're receiving.