Women Take Center Stage in ‘Hustlers’


Sophia Clifton, Staff Writer

Starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, Hustlers tells the story of strippers crossing any line necessary to sustain their lavish lifestyles. Destiny (Constance Wu) is struggling to support herself and her grandmother while at her dead-end job at a strip club. Destiny meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), the club’s top earning performer, and learns all her tips are tricks. For a while everything is great for both Destiny and Ramona, the club is bringing in plenty of business. The film takes a turn when the 2008 economy crash puts the strip club out of business. Ramona takes matters into her own hands and compiles a team; Ramona, Destiny, Annabelle (Lili Reinhart),  and Mercedes (Keke Palmer) to find completely illegal ways to make money together. The film follows reporter, Jennifer (Julia Stiles), in her journey to write a newspaper article on the Hustler’s crimes. 

The standout performances are, of course, Lopez and Wu. Their dynamic friendship is a realistic, complex, and a refreshing change from most on-screen female friendships. Mercedes and Annabelle provide comic relief throughout the film in contrast to Ramona’s tough love towards Destiny. Director Lorene Scafaria beautifully captures the struggles everyone faces, allowing viewers to relate to the extravagant lives of four con-women.

Watching Hustlers carries a similar mindset to the 2013 film The Wolf Of Wall Street. The star-studded cast captures the lives of Wall Street’s richest conmen. The parallels between the male stockbrokers and the female strippers are made clear in the events of both movies. The Hustlers typically decide to target rich and damaged men from Wall Street throughout their schemes. Lopez sees her crimes as nothing more than a way to fund her expensive taste. Her reasoning for these crimes is that the men being scammed are men that steal and lie for a living, just like them. Although most of the brokers on Wall Street perfectly fit this description, the Hustlers are just as bad. Two negatives do not make a positive. 

Hustlers is a beautifully directed film with outstanding performances and comic relief throughout. The film earned an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and, upon viewing, upholds this appraisal. Hustlers is definitely worth the watch for any kind of moviegoer.