J Lo’s career-defining portrayal | Inquirer Entertainment

J Lo’s career-defining portrayal

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:02 AM September 29, 2019

J Lo’s career-defining portrayal

Jennifer Lopez (left) and Constance Wu in “Hustlers”

Just because a film doesn’t kowtow to mainstream cinema’s penchant for formulaic storytelling doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and entertaining.

Take Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers.”


It’s about a group of strippers who, following the 2008 global financial crisis and suddenly finding themselves short on cash, decides to turn to a life of crime—by drugging then robbing horny but wealthy men.


The girls, led by aging former Playboy centerfold Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez, in a career-defining portrayal), forge a bond that is nothing short of empowering as they turn the tables on men and their sexually predatory impulses.

Other cash-strapped go-go girls, including Mercedes (Keke Palmer), Annabelle (Lili Reinhart), Liz (Lizzo), Dawn (Madeline Brewer) and single mother Dorothy (Constance Wu), learn a tip or three from Ramona and Diamond (former stripper and hip-hop hotshot Cardi B) about how to make men’s “weaknesses” work in their favor.

Therein lies the rub, however: Dorothy and Ramona don’t have a foolproof plan to bank on when the swindling beauties’ victims begin to catch on.

Moreover, when things get out of control, that’s when their loyalties and alliances are truly tried, tested—and twisted.


“Athlete” has more mush than the film requires. But its pertinent and proficiently limned LGBTQ themes more than make up for its schmaltzy excesses.


In Oe Takamasa’s gender-bending romance, the life of former competitive swimmer Kohei Kaido (Joe Nakamura) also comes undone when his discontented wife leaves him—with their daughter Mizuna in tow.

J Lo’s career-defining portrayal

Joe Nakamura (seated) and Yohdi Kondo in “Athlete”

But desperation turns to hope and happiness when Kohei crosses paths and shares an unexpectedly intimate “moment” with promiscuous and indecisive Yutaka Imaizumi (Yohdi Kondo), who has issues of his own to deal with.

The latter is an animation enthusiast who hasn’t come home in 10 years—because he doesn’t have the guts to tell his terminally ill father that he’s gay!

Just as it dawns on Kohei that he could be falling for the troubled younger man, he feels his firm grip on Yutaka’s love and attention slipping. Will he lose his second shot at happiness?


If you want coherence in a story, you won’t find much of that in Darryl Yap’s comedic romp, “#Jowable.” The movie is about a woman, Elsa Mangahas (Kim Molina), whose desperate search for love leads her to zany circumstances, not to mention a one-night-stand with Bumbay.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not being “politically incorrect” here—that’s actually guest actor Jerald Napoles’ name in the movie.

For the most part, “#Jowable’s” humor is more episodic than spontaneous. But it’s more amusing than funny, with laugh-out-loud moments that are more the exception that proves the desultory rule in this production. Case in point: the irreverent exchanges between Kim and the hilarious Candy Pangilinan playing a blushing but potty-mouthed nun.

But at least the movie finds a clever excuse to show off Kim’s singing chops, in a scene where she delivers a headache-inducing monologue that thankfully segues into her impassioned, “character sung” version of “Maging Sino Ka Man.”

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It’s a go-to-town version of a well-loved OPM that’s worth the price of admission.

TAGS: athlete, Hustlers, J-Lo, Jennifer Lopez, Jowable

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