I don’t know if you have heard, but there is a movie out this weekend
about strippers. Male strippers.
That’s what has had all the women (and some men) in your life up in
arms, suddenly murmuring the name Channing far more often
than usual, and making plans for “girl’s night out” at the movie theater.
They’re not going to the movies to see “Prometheus.”
“Magic Mike” is loosely based on Channing Tatum’s former part-time gig
as a stripper. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so this is not a review, but I
can tell you why I’m going to a theater with women that may shriek at the
screen as if they were in a strip club. (Audience members on opening
weekend always seem to “participate” in the movie.)
I’ve only seen one other movie in the theater this year and it’s been
critically hailed; Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” has an all-star
cast and features such striking scenes that each one is like its own
Women may want to stop and take pictures of the scenes of “Magic
Mike” for other reasons.
Since my friend suggested that I go to this movie on opening weekend,
and I felt silly enough to reply via text message to my friend “omg yes,”
I’ve been watching the reviews roll in.
Truth be told, a movie about male strippers seems like a paradox to a
“critically hailed” movie. Frankly, I’ve never been to male strip club and
that’s fine. My friends do “classy” things for their bachelorette parties,
like wine tastings, peddle cloud, camping, or a time spent away at some
mysterious family member’s beach condo. I don’t think I ever want to go
to male strip club either, which is why this film invites the perfect time for
someone like me to explore the near-naked culture.
Even though I’m a woman with little interest in going somewhere to ogle
barely dressed men doesn’t mean that I can’t and won’t. I heard a
woman say that while it was fine for men in the 90s to cheer on Demi in
“Striptease” or Elizabeth Berkley in “Showgirls,” women are supposed to
be “better” than that.
Except that we’re all human. When you have a movie about strippers,
intention on some level will be for men and women to ogle.
The other bit that this film offers that the real life strip club does not is
cheesy insight into a world I know nothing about. I read memoirs in my
spare time about totally normal people doing extraordinary things or
novels about kids who are also wizards trying to save the wizarding
world. I know nothing about strippers. And who does? Channing Tatum.
Before he was a crime solver on “21 Jump Street,” the son struggling
to understand his father and going out to fight overseas in “Dear John”,
and before he was a kid on the wrong side of the track that found
dancing could save him from a life of self-destruction in “Step Up,” he stripped.
He took the concept of “Magic Mike” to the Hollywood movie studios and
they said, “Yes, let’s make it”. He even helped sign on Steven
Soderbergh to direct. I’ve read that while it’s “campy” (because of
course, a movie about strippers is campy), Tatum’s real life experience
itself to the dialogue that doesn’t seem too forced for a chaotic and
So, yes, this weekend I’m going to the movie theater to see a film about
male strippers and I’m kind of excited to be entertained.