Adopted as a child, new father Mel Colpin (Ben Stiller) decides he cannot name his son until he knows his birth parents, and determines to make a cross-country quest to find them. Accompanied by his wife, Nancy (Patricia Arquette), and an inept yet gorgeous adoption agent, Tina (Tea Leoni), he departs on an epic road trip that quickly devolves into a farce of mistaken identities, wrong turns, and overzealous and love-struck ATF agents (Josh Brolin, Richard Jenkins).
A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell’s previous films, American Hustle defies genre, hinging on raw emotion, and life and death stakes.
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.