by Tim Rousseau
I did it. I watched it. The film that is single-handedly bringing "girls night out" back into fashion and will probably put CHIPPENDALE'S back into business. I did it. The film that has garnered groans and eye-rolls to rival a field trip full of teenagers. I watched it. The film that has made all men skulk around it, sniffing and growling like a pack of wolves frightened but defiant of a searing bonfire filled with man-ass and McConaughey. I DID IT, ladies. I WATCHED IT, men. I LIKED IT...yes. Yes I did. Give it up. It's MAGIC MIKE!
Mr. Magic, played by Channing Tatum, is a regular guy at heart. Ambitious, he's a man who works hard. He owns his own auto detailing company, makes custom furniture, and works construction where he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer). Adam is the opposite of Mike, no ambition and no clue. Mike takes him under his wing and shows him another way he makes his money; the wild world of male revue exotic dancing. At first, it's strange but Adam is drawn like a naked moth to a thong...flame. His six pack abs bring in the easy money so he becomes part of the crew lead by" alright alright alright" McConaughey who is the owner of the club. Mike and Adam dance, drink and screw groupies freely until Adam needs a drunken lift back home to where he's couch crashing with his straight-laced sister, Brooke (Cody Horn).
Brooke is not happy about her brother taking his clothes off for money. Almost as a dare Magic invites her to come down to the club to catch a show. She shows up and sees her brother and still doesn't get it, or like it. Then Mike takes the stage. He's a performer, his dance transcends the lustful cougars and coeds shouting and undulating around the main stage. Like an estrogen fueled room of pentecostals filling themselves with the holy spirit Mike tempts them and asks them to handle the snake. Brooke watches, she's aroused but, she's also moved in a way that makes her look away. They begin to connect (not in a montage of scenes involving ice cream cones and tandem bicycles). She likes him and is wary of him. He's Magic Mike after all. His lifestyle still involves sweating, dry humping strange women, and binge drinking till dawn. This is just one conflict that our greased up hero has to contend. McConaughey wants to move the revue down to Miami where the money and hungry housewives make them in even greater demand. Mike is owed a piece of the equity, will he get what he wants? Will he be able to protect Adam from the drugs and dangerous women surrounding him? Is there room for someone like Brooke in his life? Does Brooke even believe in him?
Magic Mike is a mirror of the modern man. Laugh out loud and then I will finish...Ok then. He's a worker, he's a dreamer. He has passions in his life that grows beyond his nocturnal adventures. He's a man apart. His onstage persona as an enraptured Adonis leaves him lonely and abused by the women around him. He is controlled by them. First, the female bank manager who refuses to give him a loan to start his furniture business. Second, the college groupie whose only knowledge is of the carnal despite Mike's delusion of something deeper. Even Brooke, the only presence of honesty and reality in his life can't pretend that his plans for the future have any chance of coming to fruition. The only time he is able to take hold of the reins is when he hits that stage and unleashes his frustration on those gathered masses of cosmopolitans and lip gloss. His performance is his release. He is a prisoner of his own ambition yet he lacks any true source of love.
This is really good film. There are many reasons for this and one word to sum it all up is, SODERBERGH. Steven Soderbergh, the film's director, has taken to the helm with his penchant for naturalistic performance, clean, concise camera work and sepia tinted summer days to create the world of our main character. Perhaps he is the real, Mr. Magic.
Magic Mike is movie that is very funny and very genuine and very satisfying. I cannot make the husbands and boyfriends of the world go and see this movie, but I think they would be surprised if they did. I know I was. It's no big deal though, just let her go and make it a "ladies night." Although, don't be surprised if that night devolves into something more. She may end up downtown, looking for a little bit of magic.
FORCE THE BOYFRIEND: 7 out of 10 (They'll like but may not admit it)
Beer Pairing Recommendation
What could be better to pair Magic Mike with than the Michelob Ultra
Pom Rasberry. It is magical and light on calories and has a refreshing taste. What
Chippendale dancer or gym rat wouldn't want some to keep trim
Read more about Magic Mike on IMDB