I'll start off by saying that I had no idea men could move like this. The dancing is really the biggest thing I'll take out of this movie. Whether the guy is clothed or not, Channing Tatum does not have joints, he has hinges in his body. He moves them exceptionally well. So well, in fact, you'll have a hard time containing your giggles and squeals. Just try not to throw money at the screen.
We've all seen the previews, so you know "Magic Mike" is a movie about male strippers in Tampa, Florida. Per Tatum, the movie is based on part of his life, when he, prior to acting, actually stripped at a night club. This isn't the male version of "Showgirls" however - it has this nudge-nudge-wink-wink component to it that makes you, the audience, feel like you're in on the joke. Despite the semi-serious plot of Mike making the big decision of what to do when you are an aging 30-year old male stripper and time is knocking on your door, the movie really never takes itself too seriously. I mean, how can it? With Matthew McConaughey wearing ass-less chaps, it's really tough to not bow your head in silent (or in my case, not-so-silent) laughter.
Which is really the best part about this movie - it's just fun. It's "grab-your-girlfriends-and-run-to-the-theater" fun. And in our case, on a Sunday night, we were treated to even more than just the movie. Having had a couple cocktails beforehand, we watched the theater fill up with mostly women (and a few guys). Two men who worked for the theater stood up and announced they would be collecting money for a charity prior to the start of the movie. Just as people started to reach for their pocketbooks, the two guys suddenly ripped off their shirts.
And then danced up the aisles to collect the money.
The crowd went nuts.
I love charity work.
That, friends, is exactly what this movie is meant to be. More of an event, where you can scream and giggle and blush with your friends. I could barely contain my laughter during the opening dance of "It's Raining Men" because it's almost too much to take in all at once. All of the guys, minus the old Tarzan dude, are just too much. It's like Thanksgiving for your eyes. Channing Tatum, whom I had never really looked at prior to this film, comes out as the most adorable, sweet, playful, cheeky (pun intended) stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold you ever wanted to meet. Matthew M is awesome as the oily strip club owner who likes to promise people what they want to hear. Joe Mangiello (Alcide from True Blood) clearly has no dance background, but he's so stinkin' good looking that I'm willing to forgive him. The only two hiccups in terms of casting were Alex Pettyfer, who, while very nice to look at, just kind of sulks through the movie, and his sister Brook, played by Cody Horn. While Steven Soderbergh is a big fan of those tight close-ups of people's faces, I'm sorry, but Cody Horn looks like a 12-year old boy (is waif-thin coming back in again??) and has some funking teeth-thing going on. Not Megan Draper-weird, but like snaggle-tooth weird. She was mostly annoying for the duration of the movie and I never really bought the flirtation between her and Channing.
My biggest concern going into the movie is that they would try to drag it down with silly things like plot and character development. They didn't. They did a great job showing both sides of the stripper coin (front of the house AND backstage) without making it into a Lifetime movie or one giant cheese-fest. Overall, I would heartily recommend it.
So when it's too hot to do anything else, grab some friends, open a bottle of Pinot Grigio, and make your way to the multi-plex. You won't be disappointed.
And yes, I'm totally buying the DVD.