I have good news and bad news.
The good news is if you’ve ever wanted to visit the south of France The Hustle may convince you to finally purchase those tickets.
The bad news is that’s the only thing The Hustle will convince you of. In a female-centric spin on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels no one asked for or deserved, we find Oscar winner Anne Hathaway playing Josephine Chesterfield, a con woman capable of hustling any rich old man out of his fortune.
She meets fellow con woman and polar opposite, Penny Rust, played by Rebel Wilson, on a train to her hometown of Beaumont Sur Mer, a charming and beautiful town on the coast of France.
When Anne Hathaway puts on a formal British accent, Rebel puts on an accent that consists of mostly clearing her throat.
Where Anne plays an icily beautiful and cunning con woman, Rebel plays what is basically a troll who lives in a garbage dumpster – they’re opposites in more than just looks, you see!
This point is made three or four hundred times by beating you over the head with the reminder Anne is beautiful and Rebel is not.
Perhaps unsure what to do when confronted by the fact their characters had zero depth or development over a painfully long 94-minute running time, both women chose to lean into their performances.
Anne becomes more tightly wound with every outfit change, and Rebel leans so far into the slapstick nature of her character’s pratfalls that she can’t take more than a step or two without being injured.
But more than overplaying every line, each actor stops acting with the other and begins an odd one-woman show, independent of what their scene partner is doing.
The “feminist spin” given to this movie is, at best, lip service and at worst genuinely offensive. The jokes are dated and flat and the plot is lacking.
Do not get hustled into this lacklustre remake. Anne and Rebel deserved better, and so do you.
Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia