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May 15, 2019

The Hustle (2019) --- “They’re Giving ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ A Run For Their Money.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson) is a small-time con artist whose main area of expertise is catfishing men and then using a fake sob-story to get money out of them. On the other hand, Josephine Chesterfield (Anne Hathaway) is a glamorous, seductive, and high-class British con artist who has an affinity for defrauding rich gullible men out of their money. While venturing on a backpacking trip through France, Penny stumbles into Josephine’s meticulous and well-ordered world and decides she wants to learn how to up her game. Despite their very different methods of conning, the two join forces to con even more people out of their money. However, they soon learn that their competitiveness and jealousy keeps them from being able to trust each other so they decided to settle the score once and for all. Whoever manages to con an unsuspecting target (Alex Sharp) out of $500,000 the winner gets to stay in the fictitious French Riviera town of Beaumont-sur-Mer to swindle tourists and gamblers out of their millions. Will one of them be able to snag the final prize? Or will they both be found out too soon?

    Directed by Chris Addison (Veep), and written by Stanley Shapiro (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Paul Henning (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), The Hustle (2019) is a light-heart and slightly forgettable con-comedy remake and gender flip version of the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Despite Penny and Josephine being the main focus of the film it was surprising to see that not much thought was put into their backstories. Subsequently, this leads to the audience believing that Penny picked her occupation as a means for revenge against every guy who turned her down due to her appearance, while Josephine picked her occupation strictly so that she would not have to be a gold digger or a trophy wife. So rather than search for Mr. Right and discover a new level of happiness, the pair decide to bounce from one guy to the next leaving a trail of disgruntled and scorned men in their wake.
    Now the comedy is probably the highlight of the film. Although there were some flaws in the story itself, the comedy combines the different styles of Rebel Wilson (Isn’t It Romantic) and Anne Hathaway (Serenity) nicely. Rebel Wilson is simply RebelWilson but with much less awkwardness and a lot more direction then what we have seen from her before. Of course one would assume that Wilson would overshadow Anne Hathaway and, in some ways, she does but for the most part they complimented each other nicely. Surprisingly Hathaway has a nice comedic style that worked for her character. Mostly it was due to her using noticeably fake accents that helped sell the concept that her character is a con artist who has used a number of different aliases throughout her career and Josephine might not even be her real name. It might just all be another alias that she has assumed to further escape and separate herself from the life she originally came from. The supporting cast of Alex Sharp (To the Bone), Ingrid Oliver (LAst Christmas), and Nicolas Woodeson (Will, Taboo, Paddington 2) did quite well in their respective roles.
    Overall, The Hustle (2019) is an entertaining, light-hearted, and slightly forgettable comedy con-film that will keep you laughing until the end. The story is good but there were a few flaws mainly in regards to the character backstories and development. The comedy was a highlight of the film and the costume designs were pretty great. The cast performances were strong and helped carry the film’s comedy by allowing the actors to have fun with their characters and they play off each other nicely. All in all, I wouldn’t say that this is the best comedy film out there, it’s no Ocean’s but it is most certainly not the worst one. I think if your easily entertained by comedy films or you looking for a good laugh, then I suggest that you check out this film.

Final Vote --- 6.5 of 10 stars

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