Directed by Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler; Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and starring Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians; Parallels) and Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan; The Boy Next Door; Ice Age, Continental Drift; Jersey Girl; The Wedding Planner).
Drama; 110 mins; 16+
Not to be confused with The Hustle (2019) by Chris Addison, starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.
Set in the seedy world of strip clubs in New York City, the film follows Destiny (Constance Wu) as she tries to earn money to be able to take care of her elderly grandmother with whom she lives. Naive and inexperienced, she sees some of the other girls earning a lot more, including Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) whom she befriends. The audience is also introduced to the back stories of some of the other girls, revealing their own personal situations, including family tragedies.
The film is set in the years leading up to the financial crash in 2008, after which many of their former "Wall Street" clientele lost their jobs and/or their homes and, sometimes, their families too. Like many businesses that are affected by sudden turmoil, this is when Destiny and Ramona put their heads together to see how they can change their business model and survive in the changing world.
Change they do, and do well, but they sail close to the wind and risk law enforcement catching up on them and their tricks...
A wonderfully-made film with stand-out performances by Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, set in an undesirable underbelly of a city and society which we all know is there but which many prefer to ignore or stay clear from; but which has earned many plaudits for its cinematography and portrayal of those involved at all levels, from the clubs, the girls and their clients.