In The Hustle, all it takes is two scheming women to scam men out of millions (if not billions) of dollars.
Thanks to Anna Delvey, who notoriously grifted her way through SoHo (and ended up inspiring not one but two competing television series about her con), former CEO of Thanos Elizabeth Holmes, and the entire Fyre Festival fiasco (and its two competing documentaries), the word “scammer” has been on the tip of everyone’s tongues for at least two years now. Of course Hollywood has followed suit and made a blockbuster for our times with The Hustle.
In this adaptation of Frank Oz’s 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine, it would appear that Rebel Wilson has met her match in Anne Hathaway. Hathaway plays a seasoned scammer with a difficult-to-place accent who grooms Wilson’s character for the ultimate con and “teaches her sugar baby ways,” which include performative vulnerability, knife throwing skills, and blending in with one’s surroundings. Why shake down so many rich men out of jewels and money? The answer is simple: because they can.
“Why are women better suited for the con than men?” Hathaway asks. “Because no man will ever believe a woman is smarter than he is.” The odd scammer couple then embarks on a journey to swindle a young tech dynamo (played by Alex Sharp) out of his millions (or possibly billions, as Wilson points out).
Hathaway appears to be bringing her Ocean’s 8–honed heist chops to The Hustle (after all, she did steal the show from her costars in last summer’s blockbuster remake), while Wilson brings the riotous physical comedy she’s become known for onscreen in performances in the Pitch Perfect franchise and the recently released romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic.
With The Hustle, scammer season has just been extended to May 10, 2019, when the film will be given a wide release.