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The Hustle

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Thirty years ago, Michael Caine and Steve Martin mugged their way through the slapstick guesswork of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Frank Oz’s lead-footed remake of Brando’s nadir, Bedtime Story. Lower your expectations - gosh only knows the filmmakers did when they set Anne Hathaway (the actress Nikki Swift dubbed “Hollywood’s most hated”) opposite Rebel “Can’t Open a Picture” Wilson — and you might leave feeling moderately entertained. It certainly is easy on the eyes and ears: squint, and cinematographer Michael Coulter’s location nightwork combined with the sound of composer Anne Dudley’s Mancini-inspired bounce will bring one as close as modern day cinema comes to Blake Edwards and Stanley Donen. (Not really, but I can dream.) Alas, other than a few precision sight gags (the Hefty Trash bag frocks were divine), the slob vs. snob pairing bleeds panache but clots at conviction. (What’s with Hathaway’s floating accent?) The main takeaway is Alex Sharp, the romantic lead looking to Dial this Charade put-on up a notch or two. (2019) — Scott Marks

Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 34 minutes
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