Jennifer Lopez is out to prove that sex still sells and sells and sells in a new trailer for “Hustlers,” a movie about strippers at a New York City club who decide to turn the tables on the smarmy Wall Street types who patronize them.
The movie is based on a New York magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler.
It also stars Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart and Lizzo, aka Melissa Viviane Jefferson, a rapper and actress.
Lopez is known for her fetching looks and svelte dance moves. But at 49, she’s a stretch to play Ramona, a veteran dancer on the New York City scene.
Most real strippers are in their 20s, or even younger. But, hey, Jen is in tip top shape, certainly looks the part and has the moves.
The trailer opens with Lopez working the stripper pole and showing off here tricks to new dancer Destiny, played by Wu.
“Front hook, ankle hook, knee hook,” she demonstrates in a sports bra and tight panties. “From her you can do the carousel, the switch and wrap,” she adds swinging around the pole.
The scene quickly flashes with a series of cuts featuring the scantily clad girls and dance floor action.
But it’s not all fun and games. The next scene shows a back room. Destiny is splitting her tips with the club manager who takes 40 percent off the top.
Yes, it’s a dirty business behind the scenes. The girls, of course, just want to make a living, you know, “take care of grandma, do a little shopping.”
But these Wall Street guys, they’re something else.
“You see what they did to this country?” Ramona clues in the girls. “They stole from everybody. Hardworking people lost everything, and not one of the douche bags went to jail.”
“The game is rigged and does not reward people who play by the rules,” she continues.
So it’s time for a little revenge. “It’s like robbing a bank, except you get the keys. Are you in?” Ramona asks.
Needless to say, the girls go wild, partying with big spenders, who apparently don’t care about getting hit with inflated charges on their credit cards. Well, apparently some did, because the girls are ultimately busted.
The movie was ripped from the headlines and is based on a 2014 stripper crime ring that shook down patrons for tens of thousands of dollars.
Zyad Younan, a cardiologist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital was one of them. He told police he woke up with a $135,303 credit card bill and couldn’t even remember being at the strip club, according to The Washington Post.
The club claimed he spent most of the money on dancers, some in private rooms, and said they had video to prove it. How’s that for blackmail?
As it turned out, four strippers had been colluding with a strip club manager to seduce wealthy men, drug them and charge thousands to their credit cards, according an eventual indictment.
According to published reports, the scheme worked this way: The women trolled New York’s pricier bars and restaurants, mostly at hotels, and picked out their marks. They would flirt, hand out their phone numbers and arrange “dates,” usually including other girls.
Then they got down to hard partying, booze, drugs and scantily clad women. Once things got rolling out came the tranquilizers, like ketamine and methylone, or “molly.”
Once the mark was thoroughly inebriated, they were carted to the strip club, where fictitious charges were racked up for food, beverages and, of course, girls.
The real life girls, Samantha Barbash, 40, Roselyn Keo, 29, Karina Pascucci, 26, Marsi Rosen, 28 and the club manager, Carmine Vitola, 43, were charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny, a felony.
Stripper movies may seem like a sure thing, what with all the flash and scantily clad women, but that’s not always the case.
“Showgirls,” the 1995 movie about Las Vegas show girls, starring Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon was a major flop.
A year later, “Striptease,” described as an “erotic black comedy,” featuring Demi Moore in the lead role, was also widely panned by critics. Still, the film made $136 million worldwide.
Plus, “Hustlers” has the added element of being a crime drama.
Check out the trailer. The film hits theaters in September.