Innocent comedy or a questionable underlying political stance?

The Hustle implicates a feminine twist on the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, starring Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield and Rebel Wilson as Penny Rust, who play complete opposite characters from their last films.

Anne Hathaway’s last film Serenity, was critiqued as one of her worst debuts, while Rebel Wilson’s character in Isn’t It Romantic was reviewed as mediocre. In the Hustle, Hathaway ditched her helpless ex-wife character and Wilson remained her cheesy, comedic self. They both  play the role of sly con artists.

It is hard to be certain if the Hustle was trying to declare a primary message of embracing femininity or if it was nothing less than silly humor. The movie begins with two different scenes displaying Josephine and Penny’s genius scheming ways.

For starters, Penny, who plays an Australian woman that specializes in swindling and catfishing, easily cons ignorant men into giving her money that she later uses for any adventurous opportunity that life grants her. Most men Penny has scammed care about nothing more than scoring a Tinder hookup. This scene could be exemplified as today’s struggling modern romance.  

Josephine on the other hand, plays a wealthy British women, whose success was built from her trickeries. Her target is always wealthy, egotistical men. Her successes rid them of their money and ego, with the help of her two alliances.  

While the men in this movie are displayed as gullible and vain, the two women can be viewed as more heroic for using their gold digging-ways to prove how men can be egocentric.

The men are left with a shot ego and an empty pocket, while the women run with their money and live more than comfortably.

But then comes the plot twist.

Penny and Josephine become frenemies and target tech billionaire, Alex Sharp, to see who can successfully take his money first. Except he successfully takes theirs. But to no surprise, two’s company, but three’s a crowd.

The movie doesn’t seem to have any underlying political stance on gender roles, but it does have pure entertainment and innocent humor.

Josephine plays a very posh role, but sometimes she falls out of character and loses her temper and class to make sure she gets whats she wants. In contrast, Penny is more goofy and rough on the edges.

Though their isn’t exactly an underlying message, the comparison of their physicalities and opposite tempers make for good laugh-out-loud humor. It’s not predictable, without watching Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which keeps the audience engaged.

The story makes good relevant points and the characters’ hilarity make it worthwhile.


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