Strip Back the Layers to Enjoy ‘Hustlers’

By Elizabeth Scalzo
Entertainment Editor

“Hustlers” serves as the ground for women empowering women — even though the protagonists get caught and are arrested.

A stripper named Destiny, portrayed by Constance Wu, initially starts dancing in order to make ends meet and help her grandma. This all changes when she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), and the two women band together at a strip club to make as much money as possible by drugging unsuspecting men and charging their credit cards.

Destiny decides to leave the business for a while and has a baby, but when she and her man split, she goes back to the club. As the 2008 recession looms, Destiny returns to work with Ramona, and they plan to make a lot of money off rich guys, except it’s in a very illegal way.

The movie is based on an article titled “The Hustlers at Scores” published in “New York” magazine, by Jessica Pressler, whose fictional counterpart, Elizabeth, is played by Julia Stiles.

Other notable appearances in the movie are Keke Palmer as Mercedes, Lili Reinhart as Annabelle and real-life former stripper and music icon Cardi B as Diamond. Other big-name artists in this movie include Lizzo and G-Eazy. The cast matches well with the roles each actor plays.

Each character has her own quirk, which makes the movie hilarious and relatable. Reinhart’s character, Annabelle, suffers from nervous vomiting throughout the entire movie, which made the audience to laugh each time. Even Lizzo’s brief appearance playing her flute in the dressing room at the club gave the film a laughable moment.

Throughout the movie, Lopez’s character, Ramona, refers to the group of girls not just as family but as sisters. They created a family among a group of people who had nothing. Destiny mentions throughout the movie that her mother just left her with her grandparents and never came back. She didn’t have siblings or anyone besides her grandparents. All she ever really wanted is a family.

“Hustlers” is the newest female empowerment movie filled with comedy and shares a message of sisterhood. Even though the movies overall goal is to tell the story of how these women ended up in prison, it also shows the beautiful journey they embarked on together.

They didn’t go to prison: All the women were desperate to avoid jail time, and their plea negotiations dragged the case into November, when Karina and Marsi pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny. A few weeks later, Samantha Barbash pleaded to the same charges.