After watching Sheila Kelly promote her pole dancing franchise “S Factor” on an Oprah show, I decided to check it out. Walking through those doors, I was greeted by women of all shapes, sizes and colors, which was thrilling and exciting. Being a former dancer, surely this would’ve been a walk in the park for me and I had hoped to be armed with a new set of tricks. Well y’all, your girl walked out with a left side full of black and blue bruises and along with an ego that had been annihilated. I left with respect for the dolls that excelled on the pole realizing that succeeding in this class had more to do with confidence, core and courage than dancing skill.
Inspired by a 2015 Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article that went viral , Hustlers follows a savvy crew of former strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Featuring a multi-cultural female cast led by Jennifer Lopez and starring Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo, Mercedes Ruehl and Julia Stiles. director Lorene Scafaria delivers an intoxicating cocktail of crime, sex, and money. But that’s just the sizzle. The meat of Hustlers is its exploration of how male power shapes women’s work. Until it doesn’t.
Destiny (Constance Wu) is still learning what to wear, how to lap dance and sell the fantasy of sexual availability while stripping when she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez). The undisputed strip queen, Ramona, who’s expertise in whipping men into a wallet-emptying frenzy, results in money rolling and quickly coming to a screeching halt with the financial crisis of 2008. Trying to maintain their lifestyle while keeping the money flowing, Ramona, Destiny, and their strip-club sisters cook up a brand new, more dangerous, lucrative, and more illegal hustle that proves to be life changing for them all.
Make no mistake about it, these women are silver screen grifters and goodfellas giving their male counterparts a run for their money. Let’s face it, men have been doing this for decades, but for once girls were ruing the world, making their own money from the same dim witted Wall Street thugs that objectified them and became millionaires in the process.
Jennifer Lopez owns the screen every single, solitary moment. She’s strong, confident in both her acting prowess and pole dancing skills, not to mention the fact that she is on the producing team. Jennifer makes it a point to always portray women not as victims, but as women who are just trying to get a break from circumstances they may be trapped in or feel as though there is no way to move beyond their circumstances. As a woman of color, I appreciate her ability to take her Hollywood power making sure that women are seen in high regard a human beings that come in all shapes, sizes and colors. She reeled me in back in the day with Selena and has mostly become synonymous with romantic comedies, but Hustlers is a whole new ballpark into a seedy, dark world in which women are often portrayed and seen as not bright, physically supreme and gorgeous doll like chicks.
Thanks to Lorene Scafaria for making sure that the direction depicts these women as alluringly sexy, smart and not slutty. Scarfaria make Hustlers fun, dazzling and a moment in time where for once women had control over Wall Street thugs.
Produced by STX Entertainment, Hustlers in theaters right now!!!