The Top Ten Hottest Con Artists
Someone might want to warn Will Smith that con artist movies are rarely box office domineers, even if they're released in February. Smith has been smarting from a string of underperforming movies lately and the only shot he has of making FOCUS
thrive is on the smoldering sexiness of his co-star, Margot Robbie
. Here are a few of the hottest female con artists in movies who have managed to outshine (and out-con?) their male counterparts.
Before there was the quirky charm of a Krysten Ritter or Judy Greer, there was Glenne Headly. When I think about a con artist movie, the first one I think of is DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. Yes, I have had a crush on Steve Martin and his white hair for pretty much my entire life but I so applaud the woman who can crush two screen giants (Michael Caine has his appeal as well) with nary a hair out of place. Janet Colgate is easily one of the all-time greats.
A) I love a woman from Philly. B) John Dahl makes an intense thriller (yes, even the campy JOY RIDE). C) Any lady who can embody the husky-voiced seductress angle of Lauren Bacall should be recognized. While Fiorentino never totally broke out in the acting world, she sure has had a long career of playing scene crushing dames that you wished existed in real life. Even the bad girls. Especially the bad girls.
Milla Jovovich has become infinitely more interesting to me as an aging actress than during her youthful roles, even if they have multipasses. Which is why I might be the only person who watched BRINGING UP BOBBY, a forgettable little movie where Milla shines as a con artist mother from a throwback era. The reason why you
should give it note? It's the directorial debut from Famke Janssen. Yes, THAT Famke Janssen. Gotta celebrate the women of Hollywood who try their hands at different roles.
SPLINTERHEADS is a pretty awful movie, I can't say that I'd put it on any top tens, even one about bad movies because it's forgettable in the way that mediocrely (yeah, I know that's not a word but it's the one that best fits here) bad movies are. The only thing I credit this film with is getting me to understand the appeal of Aussie actress Rachael Taylor and turning me on to geocaching. Yes, out of everything, I love hot blondes who get me to read a compass.
I'm glad that even Sara Foster seems to be confused as to why she's not a bigger star. In 2015, Sara and her sister Erin Foster began a TV series called "Barely Famous," which is supposed to begin airing in March on VH1. A parody reality series, it's being described as a cross between "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Color me interested. But better yet, explain why the lead from the cult-beloved D.E.B.S. didn't break out bigger, even though the crash-and-burn box office take of THE BIG BOUNCE might have something to do with it. Damn you, Charlie Sheen!
If I compiled a list of my favorite con artist movies, BOWFINGER would top the bunch. The film exists in the very short list of movies I can watch over and over and over and over again and still laugh at as if it was the first time I had seen it. And I remember the first time I saw it too... I took my sister to a matinee showing on her birthday and there were only two elderly couples in the theater besides us, neither of which were laughing while we cracked the f*ck up. As they chattered about not 'getting it,' my sister and I were chanting "Keepin' it together... keepin' it together..." Heather Graham is awesome in the movie, probably even moreso than she's been in anything. But BOWFINGER is that rare movie where literally everyone
is at the top of their game. (And it's still considered a bomb because it starred Eddie Murphy and yet only grossed $66 million domestically!)
She's been sexier and she's been more naked, but it was in JACKIE BROWN, the lesser recognized nugget of genius from the works of Tarantino, that we really get to see Pam Grier at her sexiest. Gone is the exploitation and the campiness. Quentin allowed Grier to make love to the camera with her facial expressions and pouty body language. I didn't understand her appeal from watching the 70's flicks. I totally got it when I watched her in this.
Very few times in the history of almost any award show has an actor been recognized for being exceptional in a comedic role. Kevin Kline won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for A FISH CALLED WANDA but he's not the only one who makes this 1988 movie a timeless comedy masterpiece. Michael Palin tackling a stutter (that people angrily protested, blah), John Cleese being a pervy old man with a classy accent and Jamie Lee Curtis once again getting into her underwear for the sake of a scene. One of the absolute bests.
I can't think of a time when Amy Adams was put to better use than when she was in AMERICAN HUSTLE. She's allowed to be sexy and smart and devious and funny and makes you hope that she'll continue making movies with David O Russell forever, since he really captures all of her perfect and enchanting angles. Clingy 70's style dresses are also a huge plus, especially on that top notch derriere she's got.
We might have to give the MVP award for Best Assist to J-Love's movie mama, the irrepressible Sigourney Weaver, in HEARTBREAKERS, where we got to see Hewitt look the best that she's ever looked in her career. Forget the fact that she's trying to seduce the horrifically boring Jason Lee (he always suffers when he plays the straight man) and just marvel at the cleavage shots, belly button shots, bending over shots, lingering camera ogling throughout the film. Oh, and have a big giggle every time Ray Liotta comes on to steal a scene.