Here’s something most people I know wouldn’t expect of me: at 12:01am on Friday June 29, my butt was firmly planted in a seat at our local AMC, ready to watch Magic Mike. And I was EXCITED. And a little drunk. But REALLY EXCITED, primarily, with or without the booze. Spoilers!
I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a preeeetty long time! I think I first heard about it when it started casting and, like, if you can read a blurb that says, essentially: MOVIE PRIMARILY BASED ON THE LIFE OF AND STARRING CHANNING TATUM and not get at least a LITTLE excited?! I don’t want to be your friend. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Channing Tatum is GREAT. He’s so CHARMING. CHARMING TATUM. I don’t understand how people don’t love him! Have you seen The Vow? Have you seen She’s the Man? Have you not seen the gifsets of 21 Jump Street all over Tumblr?! DO YOU NOT HAVE EYES?! He’s such a lunkhead cutie machine! If you’re not on the Charming Tatum boat, I just… I don’t understand. He will make you laugh! He will CHARM THE SHIT OUT OF YOU! Do you need every actor to be Oscar-caliber? No. You need lots and lots of Channing Tatums and Megan Foxes. AND IT IS OKAY TO LIKE THOSE PEOPLE. I set you free from your pointless standards! EMBRACE IT.
ANYWAY. There was so much beautiful baby-oiled cheesy beefcake ALL OVER THIS THING. And it was BEAUTIFUL. Greasy, rip-away pants Tampa boys in g-strings. That theater was FULL of screaming women (and six men: two with us, two with the girlfriends, and two sitting together in the very front corner of the theater… IDEK.) and it was GLORIOUS. I don’t go to a lot of movies with primarily female audiences (are there even such a thing?!) and I didn’t really think about how it would change the viewing experience, but it was so, so GOOD. Like a midnight superhero movie except with high-pitched screaming and hot NUDE butts. It was like… what I imagine church feels like for religious people. That’s what a good movie experience feels like for me. And this was an EXCELLENT experience. (Minus the homophobic trio behind me who couldn’t SHUT THE FUCK UP and let me enjoy Matthew MocConaughey grope-teaching Alex Pettyfer. GET OVER IT YOU HORRIBLE WENCHES.)
The highlights of this movie are as follows:
- CHANNING TATUM
- MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
- “Alright, alright, alright!”
- Channing Tatum dancing. Like. Let me tell you how I am not a woman who is into dancing or men who dance, but GOOD GOD.
- Cody Horn! Who was, like, delightful in her non-acting. I like anyone with a kind of weird face who can just stand around and look disapproving.
- Alex Pettyfer was kind of adorable?! And stupid.
- BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS
My favorite scene in the movie though is at the beginning when Channing Tatum first meets Alex Pettyfer and is driving him home from their construction site. Pettyfer reaches forward and starts to pull on that sticky protective plastic they put on phones and computers and stuff that’s still covering the dash of Tatum’s new-ish truck. Tatum swats at his hand and is like, “Dude, what are you doing?!” and says he’s going to leave it on until he’s ready to sell the truck because then it’ll be like brand new. IT IS SO DUMB AND CHARMING. (Personally, it gives me the hardcore skin-crawlies because leaving that stuff on drives me CRAZY and I actually get good chills — like musical frisson almost — when I pull it off. My dad and gf and sister always leave it on until I’m around to pull it off because they know I love it so much. HOW COULD YOU LEAVE IT ALL ON THERE?! THERE WAS SO MUCH!!)
I shouted about the movie A LOT on Twitter, but Brenna did it better:
I KNOW IT’S LONG BUT IT’S WORTH READING.
But, okay, here’s the thing. I really had a good time watching this movie! I liked watching the stripping and the friendship and the family and even the romantic plot and I thought Channing Tatum and Cody Horn had good awkward-chemistry and that it worked for what the movie was doing with it. But. I would’ve been much happier with a movie that was all about THAT stuff. And it would’ve been a fine movie!
There’s this — Alex Pettyfer does drugs and then sells drugs aka falls into the ~seedy underbelly~ of stripping REALLY RAPIDLY and then basically ruins Channing Tatum’s life because of it (although it does lead to a truly hilarious moment of the two of them in thongs fending off violent college boys with nightsticks) and almost totally ruins Pettyfer’s relationship with his sister (Cody Horn) too. All in, like, the course of a night. And it’s really poorly paced! And it feels really tacked in.
Like, everyone was freaking out that this movie about strippers wasn’t going to be taken seriously enough, so they consulted a recipe book and added a shake of drugs for easy drama. And that sucked! Because it wasn’t fun to watch! And it wasn’t emotionally compelling either, so it was basically some stuff you had to sit through in hopes that there would be more stripping and butts. And that’s a bummer! Because it’s TOTALLY OKAY to have a movie that’s just fun! And butt-heavy! And full of dong-waggling!
Also, all five of us sat down at the Denny’s table afterwards and as soon as we started talking about the movie we went, “Uhhh, how was there not a single black dude dancing at Xquisite?” Two white girls, two people of mixed ethnicity, and one Latino and we were all like, “UH EXCUSE U?!” So yeah. There’s also that.
We also saw Brave this weekend, which I’m not going to talk about (at least yet — I LOVED IT, though.) and I keep seeing all this talk about… why boys should go see it and how it’s not “just for girls” and I’m going to apply the same fury to similar Magic Mike commentary as I did for Brave: I DON’T FUCKING CARE IF DUDES WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE.
Who cares? ALMOST EVERY OTHER MOVIE IS MADE FOR AND MARKETED TOWARD MEN. I DON’T CARE IF THEY’RE NOT INTERESTED IN ONES THAT AREN’T. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. SUCK MY RAGING CLIT BONER. I DO NOT CARE. I understand that studios have to make money and that’s how movies get made and blah blah blah etc. and etc. and etc. I don’t care.
ON POINT COMMENTARY. I am tired of being told I should accept that movies made for the male gaze are the “standard” and should appeal to everyone, while movies made to appeal to the female gaze are “niche” or “chick flicks”. It’s BULLSHIT. WOMEN ARE NOT NICHE. I won’t even get into the bullshit inherent in gendered marketing and “strong female characters” and all the extra shit that goes on. For now, I can settle for this:
Dear Hollywood – the mythical entity of moviemaking,
Women love movies. Women love sex. Women love stories. Women want to objectify people to whom they are attracted. They want to watch stories about strong and interesting and well-developed characters regardless of gender. They want to be entertained, moved, and turned on. They want to experience the variety and diversity of stories that are “made for” and marketed toward men. They want to see richly wrought worlds and emotionally sincere experiences. They want the same things as men. And yes, sometimes, they want to watch really, really good-looking people do stuff while wearing very little.
ANYWAY, go see Magic Mike. It’s worth the price of admission for the fine-ass butts alone.