Opening May 9, 2019
Directed by: Chris Addison
Writing credits: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, Jac Schaeffer
Principal actors: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Dean Norris, Ingrid Oliver
The French Riviera with its beautiful landscape and luxurious resorts and casinos makes it a prime playground for the rich and famous. It is also easy pickings for con artists. Josephine (Anne Hathaway) has long used the area as her base of operations and is quite successful. However, when the distinctly low-class scammer Penny (Rebel Wilson) crashes into town, Josephine knows she has to do something about her slapdash competition.
While The Hustle is a fairly straightforward remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) (which itself was a remake of Bedtime Story(1964)), this gender-swapped reboot shows the story can still evoke fresh laughs. Hathaway and Wilson make a charming comedic pair, with their individual strengths complementing one another nicely. Wilson’s down-to-Earth charm softens Hathaway, whose practiced skill in turn tempers Wilson’s sometimes over-the-top comedy. The chemistry of the cast and the slapstick silliness of the script prove to be a winning combination and never steps over the line towards cringe-worthy, which is often the case in similar comedies. While the story may be more impactful to audiences who are not familiar with the original films, this enjoyable new take is just downright fun and is sure to evoke smiles even from the most hardened of critics. (Rose F.)