Vol. 12, No. 17 – May 22 – June 4, 2019 – Movie Review

Movie Review by Cindy Summers

The Hustle



Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees,
4 being best.

The Hustle is the 2019 remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), which was a remake of Bedtime Story (1964). Released by United Artists, Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Directed by Chris Addison, and Written by Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, and Jac Schaeffer. Starring Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield, Rebel Wilson as Penny Rust, Alex Sharp as Thomas Westerburg, and Nicholas Woodeson as Albert.

Josephine and Penny are two con artists who swindle gullible, rich men in Beaumont-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. Josephine is a British woman who is glamorous and cultured, while Penny is a very erratic and fun-loving Australian, and after they meet they start to compete but eventually join forces. Josephine puts Penny through the paces in a quasi con training school in her nice French villa to get Penny’s con skills more refined so that they can jointly target men for luxurious jewelry and eventually work together to steal the riches of an internet billionaire.

I would be the first to admit I’m a huge Rebel Wilson fan, from her breakout role in Bridesmaids, to all 3 Pitch Perfect movies to her TV series Super Fun Night which she created, had the lead role and ran for 17 episodes ~ all filled me with bellyaching laughter from her comedic timing and physicality.

In The Hustle, in which Wilson also is as Producer, she unfortunately misses the mark as the gags are childish in nature, the cons are insultingly obvious, and the comedic timing seems off most of the movie. Wilson does shine with outrageous physical comedy throughout, which lessens the disappointment of what looks to be an outrageous comedy from the trailers.

Anne Hathaway is no stranger to comedy, and is cast well as the aristocratic opposite to Wilson’s less experienced and impulsive style. Hathaway’s physical comedy is surprisingly quite good throughout the movie and her dry wit plays well off Wilson’s seemingly oblivious nature.

Nicholas Woodeson (Albert the butler) is a stand-out in this comedy lineup for his perfect comedic timing, dry humor and his hilarious physicality.

Though there are a few shining moments of comedy, most of The Hustle falls flat leaving the audience feeling hustled by the promise of such a comedic pairing where the chemistry doesn’t ever seem to quite gel.

Rated PG – 93m

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