When I think of Jennifer Lopez, I think of romantic comedies and I love her for those roles. Maid in Manhattan had me believing that I could find love anywhere, Second Act made me think about all the things that I can do with my career, and The Back-up Plan made me believe that love could come at anytime. As much as I haven’t been a fan of her roles outside of rom-coms – I have loved the roles that made me believe in love – I have an all new love for all things JLo.
I am not a critic and I will admit I walked into Hustlers dreading watching the movie. Because look – I journeyed out of the romantic comedy Jennifer Lopez once and sat through the shit show that was Gigli. I don’t care what you call that movie, because it can only be classified as a shit show.
I was wrong for that feeling.
If you see one movie this month – Hustlers needs to be it.
Because it’s just that damn good.
Jennifer Lopez is just that damn good.
I have an all new respect for Jennifer Lopez and if she doesn’t win all of the awards for her role in Hustlers, I am legit calling bullshit. The woman delivered a performance that made you not able to look away, dazzled you on the screen, and wanted the number to her trainer for that ass that seems impossible to ever get.
She was just fucking fantastic.
If you aren’t familiar with Hustlers, it tells the story of some New York
strippers dancers who take Wall Street clients to the cleaners in order to make a buck. Now sure, they do all sorts of illegal shit and I am not saying that it’s good what they did, but if you ever wanted to see women hustle, these women did.
We’re guided through the life of these dancers through the eyes of Destiny, played by Constance Wu. She’s talking to a journalist, telling the story of her career. And that career is a wild fucking ride.
Hustlers doesn’t walk on eggshells, it tells the story of what it really is like to be a
stripper dancer. We see what truly goes on – what they do to make their money and if we’re being honest, they work HARD. We get to see the family atmosphere that develops between them, how they’re all looking out for each other, and how close they truly are. We get lessons on what goes on in the champagne room and really, just how thirsty some men truly are (I admit I will never look at Wall Street pricks the same).
And though Wu does shine in Hustlers, her character is somewhat whiny and annoying. Destiny tends to be “woah is me”, but Wu portrays every moment that she is on screen captivating and yet a character that you want to slap into the middle of next week and tell her to wake the fuck up.
And though the movie is meant to really let Wu be front and center, she can’t help the fact that when Lopez is on screen she is all that you can concentrate on. From the moment that she pole dances onto the screen – and trust woman can work a pole – you want to revisit all of the 90s/early 2000s music and be Ramona. The woman is innovative, quick thinking, and again has an ass that people would pay good money for.
Lorene Scafaria’s (the director) Hustlers, takes no easy way out. It goes there. Ramona comes across as a villain that you can’t help but want to be in your life. She seduces you, just as she seduces every single character in the film.
The movie at it’s core – once you get past all the illegal shit going on – is about a sisterhood that kept these women going. Scafaria doesn’t attempt to make you feel bad for anyone of these characters, she’s not playing favorites, and doesn’t expect you to. She doesn’t make it so anyone of the characters is more despicable or repulsive for their actions. She makes you understand the sisterhood and the reason why all of these women do the things that they do.
Quite frankly, she makes you rethink everything you have ever thought about
But again – while you are watching the film and you this sisterhood – you quickly realize that Ramona is the glue that holds this family together. She’s bitchy and yet comforting, sinister and controlling, but she’s loyal to a fault and that my friends, is rare. As the story continues and you see Ramona’s loyalty falter you see them all start to crumble. You aren’t even in the movie and you’ll find yourself under Ramona’s trance, ready to do whatever she asks of you.
Because even when it’s wrong, you know you’ll have the love of a friend that would do anything for you.
The movie also stars Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart, who give amazing performances. But it’s Wu’s character Destiny and Lopez’s character of Ramona, that keep you feeling every single emotion this film is meant to invoke.
And that scene with Cardi B. Mad respect – there is nothing that woman can’t do. She is one of the only things that can steal the spotlight from Lopez.
Hustlers is a roller coaster ride that has you cheering for the underdogs. It doesn’t stray away from the hard shit, embraces it, while giving you the story of the women who are out there doing everything that they can to survive. The movie can be too much, and can leave you disgusted. But it’s the reality of what happened and an honest look at an industry that is really fucking hard.
But at the end of the day, I will refer back to the sisterhood that Scafaria made sure was front and center and the non judgement of
strippers dancers that this movie has. I will stand by the thought that at the very core, this movie is about that sisterhood, loyalty, and the empowerment that these women give each other. There’s just a lot of fucked up shit along the way.
But I will also stand by the fact that Lopez shines in Hustlers and her performance is reason enough to go see it.
You’ll be sitting there for a little under two hours, but I guarantee you won’t realize it. It’s a ride that will have you looking at your phone and wondering how that much time passed, because it’s just that fucking perfect.
You can thank me later.