On The Simple Genius of Hustlers
note to self: write more friendship
Last night, thanks to the lords of Screener Season, we watched Hustlers, a movie about badass women fighting against the woes of patriarchal, capitalist bullshit by drugging wall street bozos with a MDMA+ketamine, running up massive bills on their credit cards after they pass out, and getting filthy rich.
The movie, which is based on a 2015 piece in New York Magazine by Jessica Pressler called “The Hustlers at Scores,” is a wild, well acted roller coaster of emotion and truth set amidst the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis.
But the one thing I found so simple and genius about it, something which goes against most of my writing instincts, is this: the women are all friends. Simple as that. They start as friends, and they basically end as friends, though of course (vague, obvious spoiler here) it ends up being more complicated than just that.
Throughout the whole movie - all four of the main ‘hustlers’ genuinely love and care for each other. There are no power struggles, no doubt of allegiances, no men getting in the way to turn them against each other, none of that. There is, instead, love and trust and rock solid faith that they got each other, no matter what.
I could write more about this, but there isn’t much more to say - it is the simplicity here that is so powerful, a stark contrast to the bullshit conflicts that is at the core of all movies. We are taught, in screenwriting school, that conflict is the key to all drama, which is not false. But that doesn’t mean the conflicts need to between the characters. There can be conflicts of a billion kinds - me v me, me v world, me v ideology, etc.
AND, what’s more, there often need to be no conflicts at all. Just as our brains are wired for conflict and fighting and battle, they too are wired for love.
Note to self: write more friendships, write less conflict.
Note to self: live more friendship, live less conflict.
Note to you: watch Hustlers, it’s real good.