You've heard how marvelous Jennifer Lopez is in "Hustlers."
From her jaw-dropping introduction via pole dance to Fiona Apple's "Criminal" to the image of her lounging on a rooftop, taking drags of a cigarette in a fur coat, the 50-year-old singer/actress is totally captivating as a conning stripper ringleader in the critically acclaimed drama, which exceeded expectations with $33.2 million at the weekend box office.
While Lopez is earning Oscar buzz for her most enjoyable movie turn in nearly two decades (yes, we still love "The Wedding Planner"), she's not the only pop star showing major acting chops in "Hustlers."
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Rap hitmaker Cardi B and "Truth Hurts" breakthrough Lizzo make their big-screen acting debuts as Diamond and Liz, respectively, strippers at the seedy New York club where newcomer Destiny (Constance Wu) gets her start at the beginning of the film. At first, Diamond doesn't welcome Destiny with open arms, brusquely telling her to "back off, b----)" when she sees her flirting with potential male clientele.
But Diamond quickly warms up to the club rookie, playfully bemoaning how men don't like dating strippers as they chat backstage. ("Everyone wants to date a stripper ... until they learn we work six nights a week," she says before extolling the virtues of sex toys.) In one of the film's most memorable scenes, she shows Destiny how to give the perfect lap dance, grinding on her as she instructs that taking your time is key.
Lizzo, too, gets brief moments to shine as Liz: busting out her signature flute backstage and playing a few notes before nestling it between another stripper's breasts. She gets some hilarious one-liners, such as her explanation for not dating: "I just wanna sit on my (expletive) couch with my (expletive) ice cream."
When the club gets a surprise celebrity guest, she gleefully runs into the dressing room and announces "Usher, b----!" before the entire group dances on stage for the cash-throwing "Love in this Club" crooner.
Cardi and Lizzo don't get a ton of screen time, and their charming characters bow out a little before the movie's halfway mark, when Destiny gets pregnant and quits her stripping job just as the 2008 stock market crash ravages the club. But they make the most of their limited scenes and have charisma in spades, making us hope it's not the last time we see them light up the big screen.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Hustlers': How are Cardi B and Lizzo in their first movie?