DISCLAIMER: I don't think there are any spoilers in here, but I can't be certain. I think we all know what this movie is about. I'm not going to reveal any plot twists or the ending, or anything like that. However, if by reading this review, the mystery of "Magic Mike" is now ruined for you, I'm sorry. Now, go get a life.
If you are a faithful reader of mine, you will know that my friend Sandy really wants to see Magic Mike. She's been talking about it for a couple of weeks now, and she was trying to get a couple of us to go with her. Our friends all declined for one reason or another. Sandy turned to me in her hour of need. What was I supposed to say? What kind of friend lets another friend go and watch prosthetic penises flop around in a fringed nut sack alone? I knew that if nothing else, there would be delightful eye candy (and I love eye candy as much as the next person) and there would be something good to write about. I am happy to say, Magic Mike delivered on both of these fronts.
So let me set the scene for you:
Sandy and I decided to see the movie at our cheaper theater in town (neither one of us was willing to shell out AMC Fork & Screen money for this destined-to-be classic). We arrived a bit early and bought tickets. We were shown to a small theater full of heaving bosoms and giant tubs of popcorn. We had noticed there was a later showing that would start in a half an hour, so we decided to go and seek out that theater instead. Sure enough, it was empty and we got prime McConaughey-viewing seats. We settled in with our small bags of popcorn and waited. The theater filled up around us with all middle-aged women. I noticed we were under-dressed. These women do realize the actors can't see them, right??
There was some tittering and giggling going on, but nothing too intense... yet. Our movie was about to start and I was out of Coke. I ran out to the concession stand to get me and Sandy a refill. The 15ish-year-old boy behind the counter tried to make small talk while he filled up my drinks.
"What movie are you seeing, ma'am?" he asked.
"Magic Mike," I said.
"Oh God!" he exclaimed. "Get out of here!"
"Excuse me??" I said.
"I'm kidding. Actually, not really. Why are you seeing that?"
"That's a dumb question," I said.
"I know. Sorry. But... ugh. I thought you might be cooler than that."
Well, thank you, 15ish popcorn vendor. I appreciate that, but I guess I'm not.
"Would it be better if I said I was here to see Spiderman?"
"You're seeing Spiderman?" Another 15ish boy said as he stepped into our conversation and started sweeping up spilled popcorn.
"No. Magic Mike," soda boy said.
"Oh. Eww," said sweeper boy.
"What? You guys don't stay late and watch that one when everyone goes home?" I asked.
"No way. Here's your drink. Enjoy your movie," said soda boy.
What those boys don't know is that Magic Mike is not for women. It's a bromance. There is more male bonding going on in this movie than stripping or sex with women.
I don't know what I expected exactly, but that wasn't it. I didn't expect a guy to literally say to another one,"Let's be best friends." Are you fucking kidding me?
I didn't expect men to make promises to take care of one another -- and honor those promises.
I didn't expect all of the man-on-man, semi-naked, well-oiled hugging that all of these dudes were doing with gusto.
I didn't expect Channing Tatum to leave so many clothes on. I didn't pay to watch him hump a stage in baggy sweat pants. Get that shit off and let's see your money maker!
Where's the beef?
I didn't expect Matthew McConaughey to have a comedic role. I assume it was comedic. If it wasn't, then he just made an ass out of himself with his ridiculous outfits, bad perm and corny dialogue.
I didn't expect so much plot. I'm being gracious here to call what little plot Magic Mike had "plot." I'm just saying that I went to watch hot men gyrate and strip. I don't need to hear about their hopes and dreams and plans for the future. I could give a fuck what any of them want to do. Shut your piehole and show me some meat!
I did expect better dialogue. I'm not sure who the screenwriter was for this movie, but many times it felt like Steven Soderbergh told Channing Tatum: "You're walking on a beach with this girl and you're flirting awkwardly with one another, but you're cool about it and deep down she really digs it. Just make up the dialogue as you go along. And... action!"
I didn't expect the three middle-aged women (dressed to the nines) behind us to come in with booze hidden in their oversized handbags. I could smell the hooch every time they took a swig. Besides the booze, they acted like little school girls every time they saw a marble sack. They giggled and swooned and gasped every time those guys shook it. I hope they had smelling salts in their bags along with their wine coolers. A favorite dance move in Magic Mike was to throw a chicks legs over a dancer's shoulders and pick her up so his face was in her business. The first time this happened, I'm pretty sure one of the women behind us orgasmed. Or at least it sounded like it. Sandy and I were hoping the women would get confused and start throwing money at the screen. It would have paid for our popcorn.
I can say a few positive things about this movie. McConaughey might have been laughable, but for 42, he looked damn fine in his leathah pants. I've never been a big Channing Tatum fan, but I'm beginning to understand the hoopla. That boy can move (just wish he would take off his sweats and stop talking so much -- Chatty Cathy).
I think Sandy summed it up best: She would like to see it again in the privacy of her own home on her big screen with a mute button and a remote to fast forward to the "good" stuff. I would watch that version again.
Read more of Jen's blog at www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com