In Which a Heterosexual Male Enjoys “Magic Mike”
Best Buy. Black Friday. Evening. The store… sedate. The pickings… slim. But oh! Blu-rays for $13! The wife wants a copy of Magic Mike. (“Look honey! Extras include extended dance sequences!” Great…) We return home from the requisite family holiday visit, looking forward to a quiet evening of decompression.
Because Paul are good hubby, Paul suggest put in Magic Mike. And so begins our adventure. I didn’t know this movie was directed by Steven Soderbergh, director of Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Out of Sight, and The Limey. All great movies. He has his detractors but he’s certainly no hack, and this is evident within the first 10 minutes of Magic Mike.
The story takes place in Tampa, Florida and Soderbergh and his cinematographer gave everything, and I mean everything, the sun-drenched yellow-filter treatment. Everything is hazy and jaundiced. Clever camera angles abound. This is clearly not a rote, style-less interpretation of the screenplay. Soderbergh brings his eye for detail and, dare I say, subtlety to the screen. The film is rife with long single-take shots, stationary cameras that pan across rooms full of activity, and disorienting drug sequences.
What I’m trying to say here is: this movie is actually really well done.
Guys can be eye-rolly all they want about the dance sequences but, honestly, star Channing Tatum’s moves are undeniable. And there are just as many hot girls in the movie as hot guys. In fact, for a movie about male strippers, there is far more female nudity than male. (And the one scene with a naked penis is really quite funny.)
The story is even well written and not at all hackneyed. I would go so far as to compare it to Boogie Nights. Tonally and thematically, it is very similar to the infamous story of Dirk Diggler. For all the men who dismiss this as a “chick movie” and barely tolerate their ladyfriends’ excitement, I recommend watching it. Hell, watch it with your ladyfriends.
You might even get lucky.