Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star in The Hustle, a remake of 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which was a remake of 1964’s Bedtime Story. The movie follows two con-artists from different backgrounds, and with different styles, as they take advantage of men. The entire argument that woman can easily manipulate men by using their perceptions of women against them for their own financial gain was an interesting starting point. Sadly, transitioning to have the women pitted against each other is an overused trop. In fact, in Wilson’s most recent film Isn’t It Romantic she addresses the idea that movies automatically see women in the same field as rivals. Odd that she wouldn’t call it out here as well.
There are plenty of great con-artists films out there, specifically female led ones, and The Hustle could’ve been a wonderful addition to that list. Hathaway is enjoyable as always playing the straight-man while Wilson does her thing as the larger than life fool. The jokes were there, although it felt as though most were revealed in the trailer and didn’t play as clever within context.
The supporting cast deserves recognition for their abilities to be part of the fun while not distracting from the main characters. Relative new comer Alex Sharp perfectly played the role of tech super genius Thomas. In a film dominated by scene stealing women, Sharp keeps viewers interested by balancing that awkward nerd stereotype seen in Silicon Valley, The Social Network, and The Big Bang Theory with the charming nerd attributes of Zachary Levi and Adam Brody.
I wanted to love this movie, but didn’t. It wasn’t particularly bad, it just didn’t live up to the potential it had. A strong premise with a fantastic cast, yet a less than stellar execution. Our recommendation: take the girls to brunch and then hit up the Sunday matinee for this one.
The Hustle opens Friday, May 10th and is rated PG-13.
— Yael Tygiel