- Don Ford
Don Reviews "The Hustle"
With changes in society happening, women are getting the recognition that they rightfully deserve, and this is really starting to show in Hollywood. There have even been classic films that have been “gender bent,” where characters’ genders have been swapped in order to give a new spin on some classic films. With “The Hustle,” this treatment is given to “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
Directed by Chris Addison (Playing House), there are two con artists in brash American Penny (Rebel Wilson) and refined European Josephine (Anne Hathaway). After a series of events leads Penny to be taken under Josephine’s wing to become a team that handles even bigger cons, and as the tensions rise between them, they get into a competition between them as to who can get $500,000 out of a tech billionaire named Thomas (Alex Sharp).
The cinematography in this film is very good to represent the South of France, its mansions, and its hotels. Wilson does what she normally does, and Hathaway is also good but not in what I would call the Top Five roles she has played in her career due to the lack of a proper refined accent that I think was supposed to be British. It was just kind of there for me.
Unfortunately, the script is where it falls apart for me. Don’t get me wrong: I fully support this shift in roles that has given leading roles to women like this, but only when it is done right. There are some funny moments in “The Hustle,” but given my lack of love for remakes and reboots (especially of a movie like “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” which I love), but there are not enough original takes to let this stand on its own. This was more of a copycat film almost to the point of plagiarism for me, and even though its tagline is “They’re giving dirty rotten men a run for their money,” this version loses the race and even gets lapped by its predecessor (which itself is a remake of a 1964 film called “Bedtime Story” with David Niven, Marlon Brando, and Shirley Jones). There is simply no other way to say it than I will not be seeing this film again.