Hustlers

Shortly before the 2008 recession, New York stripper Destiny (Costance Wu) is mentored by Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez); a few years later, when times are tougher, they embark on a scheme targeting wealthy men in bars. Based on a 2015 New York Magazine article, this slick, riveting film follows the two strippers as they build not only a successful operation together with two other partners in crime, but also bonds of trust and love… until mistakes are made. Wu and Lopez stand out as two women who know how to survive America’s tipping culture. This could easily have been silly and empty, but Lorene Scafaria shows compassion for her characters.

2019-U.S. 110 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Adam McKay, Benny Medina. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria. Cast: Constance Wu (Destiny), Jennifer Lopez (Ramona Vega), Julia Stiles (Elizabeth), Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo… Cardi B, Mercedes Ruehl.

Last word: “I didn’t get to see Constance and Jennifer together until the camera test. Both of them were there together in hair and makeup for the first time. There they are eating, Jennifer has her fur coat on and put her arm around Constance and I just got chills. It was everything I dreamt of. I’d thought of them individually in their characters, and they had that big sister-little sister chemistry immediately. Jennifer is very maternal and is kind of the mama bear of the set. So I think that since everyone filled their roles so well, it sort of just happened right away. It’s hard to fake that.” (Scafaria, Interview Magazine)

 

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