Thursday, July 12, 2012

Magic Mike (2012)

Seen: At the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square.

Oh hey I kept hearing that there is a movie about male strippers? And it's all for the ladies? Where do I sign up? Admittedly I'm not really attracted to most of the dudes in this movie but I'm always cool with people dancing and having a fun time. Loosely inspired by his own experiences before he took up acting, Magic Mike stars Channing Tatum as an ambitious, hardworking stripper/construction worker who saves his money and dreams of starting a custom-made furniture business. He meets 19-year-old, good-looking idiot Adam and lands him a job as a new dancer at the club run by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), where Mike is the star. Adam easily slips into a life of sex, drugs, and general debauchery, to the dismay of his older sister Brooke (Cody Horn), who expects Mike to be a better influence on him.

The weird thing about male stripping is, everyone thinks it's funny. Seeing men dance around in tear-away clothing and acting "sexy" is out of bounds for "normal" male behavior, so it automatically turns into a joke. Female strippers aren't usually funny, and certainly the mere concept of female stripping isn't considered humorous. It's probably either sexy or sad, depending on the scenario. When Channing Tatum and his buddies get up on that stage in their themed outfits, dancing their little hearts out and giving crotch-happy lap dances, it IS kinda funny. But I think that's mostly because the costumes and themes are so over the top. The ladies in the audience (both the one onscreen and in the real-life theater) are giggling like crazy. Is this because we're uncomfortable with all that sexual energy being directed at us, since usually it's the other way around? Is a woman getting a lapdance from a scantily-clad guy actually funny? Or is it just unfamiliar and therefore evokes nervous, confused laughter? These are actual questions I've been thinking about. We as a society need to get over this weird gendered view of sexuality and just fucking deal with it. It's not that sexy dancing/stripping can't be fun and at times funny, but I felt like the audience was laughing way too much at something that I KNOW would not evoke laughter if it was women on that stage.

Anyway. Magic Mike. It's a pretty good movie. It starts off as more of a fun comedy but gradually sinks into a heavier drama as drug problems predictably enter the picture. I'd say the mood of the film as a whole is fairly light, though, and it could have been a straight-up comedy if Soderbergh hadn't been going for realness. Channing Tatum is strong in the lead, doing a likable-charming thing while also pulling out some really awesome dance moves. Seriously, the dude can dance! I haven't seen Step Up so this was news to me. Matthew McConaughey was solid in his role as well, sort of ditzy and funny and never having to wear a shirt. Perfect. Alex Pettyfer is the most attractive dude in the group but his character is such a little dipshit I was constantly conflicted in my attraction to him. And I know nobody likes Cody Horn as the main love interest, and yeah she's pretty bland. She only has one facial expression. But it could have been worse, at least her character was ok.

There were a lot of butts in this movie, and that's always cool. But I feel like Soderbergh wimped out by not having any full-frontal nudity? We saw several boobs, though. So I guess there's something for everybody.


Pair This Movie With: I've heard different people throwing around The Full Monty in conjunction with this movie, and I'm cool that what pairing.


  1. 4/5 is a good score for a comedy about male strippers. Aside from the subject matter does Soderbergh do a good job or a job job? I often feel like he doesn't put as big an effort in to some of his films as others.

  2. Toby: Ummm I think he does a good job? Though I wasn't overly impressed. It's a pretty simple film, there's nothing fancy going into it.

  3. I liked the movie mainly just because of the guys. The storyline was very predictable.

  4. I have just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the hottest virtual strippers get naked on my desktop.