These partners in crime are putting the “con” in iconic. Here’s why The Hustle will have you cheering for what’s so, so wrong.
Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson
May 10, 2019
Whether they’re centred on robbing a bank or a NASCAR race, there’s something about heist movies that keeps us consistently rooting for the bad guys. And now, in The Hustle, the bad guys aren’t guys at all, but rather two hilarious women who consider themselves “better suited to the con than men.”
The new comedy, directed by Chris Addison and written by Jac Schaeffer (Black Widow), follows two female scam artists who team up to take down men who have wronged them. The Hustle stars Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield, a posh Englishwoman who has established herself as an artful, high-class con woman, and Rebel Wilson (who also co-produced) as Penny Rust, a low-rent scammer who gets off on successes like scoring free food from rich dudes. When the two encounter each other on a train, they become an unassuming duo with big plans to hustle a naive tech billionaire (Alex Sharp).
Teamwork makes the scheme work
A modern version of the 1988 flick Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which, in turn, is a remake of the 1964 Marlon Brando and David Niven comedy Bedtime Story), The Hustle flips the original script with its female-forward cast. But one of the main things it shares with its predecessors is the iconic duo at the heart of the film. Sure, Rust might wear a “trashy” dress that literally looks like a trash bag, while Chesterfield struts in a sleek floor-length gown, but the differences between the two con women promise a hilarious dynamic that keeps us cheering them on through every theft.
We’re never over the underdog
A heist movie is never complete without its Everyman — an ordinary character (who never seems to have it easy) who gets roped into a wild scenario. In The Hustle, Rust is the ultimate Everywoman: a small-time scammer who is suddenly thrown into crazy situations in which she must adopt ridiculous disguises, like an unconvincing peasant, while playing counterpart to Chesterfield’s refined con woman character. Their scores are made even more satisfying as the women are repeatedly underestimated by their enemies. A successful heist lets the underdog stick it to the Man, and who doesn’t love to see that?
The dream of outsmarting everyone
Let’s be honest: Who hasn’t fantasized of pulling off a heist or stealing from the rich to give to the poor? While its allure and glamour might be unattainable in real life, we can still get our thrills by experiencing it all on the big screen. For Chesterfield and Rust, separating men from their money goes far beyond basic gold digging — it takes smarts, meaning their plans will be more devious than their simple-minded targets would ever expect.
See The Hustle with the bad gals in your life.
There’s a little bit of bad in all of us, and The Hustle is the kind of film that will inspire you to bring out your scheming side. This is a movie to share with your own partners-in-crime, the friends who aren’t afraid to take chances and push the boundaries