Okay, let me be honest, it took two trips to AMC Lufkin for me to see Hustlers.
I went Saturday night, had my tickets for The Goldfinch and Hustlers. I stepped out to the Lufkin Mall food court, such as it is, between movies. When I went back to the counter for the second movie, I had a survey code to get a popcorn. But, it was the last show of the night. Four crewmembers in the lobby, but three of them were cleaning for the end of the night. When the fourth came to the counter, she seemed to make a point of ignoring me, while a group of seven bought tickets for IT: Chapter Two. And so first they had to pay cash, and then they had to pick seats, but the only place with seven seats together were the first two rows, and so they had to pick where they would seat, one at a time. And the whole time this was going on, the girl behind the counter stood with her back to me.
Then, another couple of people walk up to the counter. The first group to my left, the second group to my right, and that gets a cleaning crewmember to get a manager. He goes to help the group to my right. Now, all I’m trying to do is get a popcorn and go to my movie, and so I said, “Excuse me, I’ve been waiting, and I got here before any of these people.”
The manager raised his finger to me, not saying anything, but turned back to the group on my right to get them taken care of.
I said fuck it, and went on to the theater.
But I was so freaking upset, I couldn’t just sit there, so I wound up walking out of the theater, cancelling my ticket so it wouldn’t affect my AMC Stubs reservations, and left the mall.
I had some stuff being done here at the house today, so I was stuck while folks did yard work. When they finally did leave, I didn’t want to just spend my day off at home, so I checked the showtime listings, which has to be done now that school is back in session. Hustlers had an 8:45 showtime, last show of the night, so I decided to make my reservation online & go back to see it.
No big crowd of folks, I was able to get my ticket, get my survey code popcorn, and my seat. Now, I had to seat on D row, instead of back row. And, from there, I was able to see everyone come in as they turned up the stairs to sit in the rows behind me. And I was the only one there not a part of the couple.
Is Hustlers really a good date movie?
I wouldn’t think so, but I was clearly in the minority.
Based on a true story, Hustlers is the story of Destiny, a young Asian stripper in New York who is getting nickled & dimed by club management, bouncers & deejays, all men. She comes under the wing of Ramona, an older, more experienced dancer who teachers her pole work, lapdance skills, and how to spot the different levels of male clients in the club.
Set over a period of years, from 2007 to 2012, with a jump up to 2016. The strip club clients get hit by the stock market crash, and so the environment of the club changes, some dancers leave, and new ones are having oral sex in the champagne rooms. When Destiny gets cheated by a client, she teams up with Ramona and two other dancers from the club in a scam to run up client credit cards using a mix of drugs & alcohol to knock ’em out.
Ramona takes things too far, and when the police arrive, its Destiny who takes the deal.
The movie is told as a post event narrative to Elizabeth, a New York journalist, with Destiny telling the story.
Constance Wu as Destiny and Jennifer Lopez as Ramona are both good in this film. They have good mentor relationship that changes to equal partners as the story progresses.
It was nice to see Julia Stiles back on the big screen, seems like its been awhile. There wasn’t a lot for her to do as Elizabeth, but still, Julia Stiles!
Mercedes Ruehl has a small role as Mom, the strip club den mother.
Pop singers Cardi B and Lizzo both have small supporting roles as club dancers. I do not know how they rate name on the posters based on their roles in the film. Clearly its for their pop singer status. And it may help that Cardi B has admitted that during her real life career as a stripper, she did drug & rob from male clients.
And Usher has a cameo as himself midway through the movie.
I was surprised to see Will Ferrell and Adam McKay listed as producers.
The movie does have some humor, background nudity, and quite a bit of sexual content/references. None of the main cast gets nude, if that’s what you’re looking for. Kind of like the movie story itself, the audience is teased with the promise of JLo and Wu stripping, but nothing more is shown than the characters in thongs. Booty cheeks, no boobs.
Also, if ya do go, stick around a bit during the closing credits, for the deejay humor.