©2019 by Sean Whitehurst

The Hustle (2019)


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The Hustle was available to watch on a recent Southwest Airlines flight I took. With a double bourbon and seltzer, I powered through all 93 minutes. Rebel Wilson portrays Penny Rust opposite Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield. Penny is the low-class, small-time, con artist while Josephine runs her cons on a wealthier social class. Josephine is also a lesbian, it has no real impact on the movie, but it is pointed out multiple times.

Josephine has a terrible French accent throughout the film. It is only distracting the first half-hour, then you get numb to how bad it is. Penny is the loud-mouthed, cocksure, constantly hurting herself character Rebel Wilson often plays. This movie only proves that Anne Hathaway isn’t great at accents, otherwise, neither star shows off any new range.

The plot is pedestrian. After we get the character’s background, we enter ‘buddy-cop’ territory. A new mark is selected, and a competition unfolds. It is no surprise that a love story develops. Even in a female-led film, the writers resorted to a fat woman with low self-esteem finding someone that cares about her. Using this classic trope does not help with the Bechdel Test.

Despite watching this on a plane with an adult beverage it still was not a good movie. I would not even call this a good plane movie. Skip this remake and watch the original, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. DRS is a remake of Bedtime Story, which is likely also a better movie.

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