July 9, 2012

Do You Believe In Magic?

I went with 4 of my girlfriends the other night to see Magic Mike. We made a whole ladies' night of it, ditching the spouses and then heading out to dinner after the movie. We had a blast! We had so much fun that after getting home, I immediately thought, "I have GOT to share this!" The only problem is, hello--it's a movie about male strippers. How do I share that with a very eclectic audience? The solution? This post is only available upon request.

So if you are reading this, sit back, buckle up and prepare to enter...the Chick Zone. That is a magical place where women are completely honest with each other and share more than is socially acceptable. It's one of my favorite places to visit. I happen to know a few of you have visited with me and I love you all the more for it. Secrets are shared here, private thoughts are discussed, and we discover that we are not alone in our preferences. Much to MC's consternation, I happen to be a sharer of the highest order and am completely delighted when I can drag others down encourage others to share with me. This particular night was utter bliss.

Ladies (and a few brave gentlemen), I present to you...Magic Mike Movie Night.

If you don't already know, Magic Mike is a movie inspired by Channing Tatum's life as a stripper before he made it big in Hollywood. The pseudo-plot goes like this: Tatum is Magic Mike, a 30yo stripper who runs several small time businesses while trying to save enough money to go into business for himself as...wait for it...a furniture designer. Because we can't go around thinking he's nothing more than a shallow narcissist who just enjoys stripping for hordes of screaming women. No, he has to be an artist. He's also a man-whore, sleeping with any and all women who throw themselves at him, but whatever. He meets The Kid (played by Alex Pettyfor), a 19yo who is barely scraping by, and introduces him to the glamorous world of full-body shaving and learning how to move his pelvis in ways that would send any normal person to the chiropractor. Matthew McConaughey stars as the owner of the strip club and Mike's sometime partner. The Kid also happens to have an older, disapproving sister that Mike takes a shine to. Will Mike finally get the money he needs to leave the stripping life behind him? Will he win the heart of the sister? Will the Kid be able to rise above the lure of easy money, easy drugs, and even easier women?

Honestly? Who cares? If you are going to see a movie that features all those hunks in various states of undress, you are NOT going for the plot. And it's a good thing because it's pretty weak. Cody Horn, who plays the sis, is annoying. She spends most of the movie scowling at everyone and when she does laugh, it's a forced, braying sound that made me cringe. If you are going to see Magic Mike, you are going to see pretty men and, in that, it delivers.

(*Editor's note: I have no idea why, but I was surprised when I got my ticket and saw it was rated R. I KNOW it's a movie about strippers, but I figured they weren't going full frontal, so why the rating? They earned that R within the first 5 minutes though when they were a little more graphic than we were expecting. That's all I'm saying.)

We enjoyed the movie for what it was--a showcase of some mighty fine abs, if not great acting performances. Channing Tatum, in every movie he's in, always delivers his lines as if he's trying not to laugh. And the boy can't cry. I'm just not buying it. But we forgive him for his shortcomings as an actor because he's pretty. That's the entire movie in a nutshell (um, no pun intended).

Here's where the honesty and sharing come into play. Over dinner, this particular group of ladies picked apart the movie and we discovered there were several things we all agreed on. First, watching a man's (or anyone's for that matter) hiney jiggle all over the place is not attractive. And it's not worth $10. I can stand in front of the mirror at home and see it for free. Also, NO ONE wants to see McConaughey's crack up close and personal on a 20ft screen. *shudder* (And he is just not the cutie that he once was. He's starting to look like he was left to bake in the sun a little too long.) Second,--and I know this is going to come as a big shock to most of the men out there--we don't think the male package is at all attractive. So the scenes where they're getting their (covered) junk all up in women's faces? Ew. No, thank you. You can just keep that to yourself. Third, in some things, bigger is NOT better. It's just downright scary.

But what we also agree on? Defined abs are freakin' hot! What we really want is to see men doing a little bit of that dancing...with their pants ON and their shirts OFF. And from a safe enough distance that we can pretend that six pack is not shiny with sweat...and we're not confronted with the reality of a man who has smoother skin than we do. Also, the socks should NEVER stay on.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I went to a male strip club once; it was an impromptu bachelorette party. We went in the middle of the week and besides our little party, I believe there were less than 6 other women there. I actually felt sort of...sad for the men on stage. I didn't find much attractive about the whole thing. The consensus at dinner was that no one wants to see strippers--they want to see movie strippers.

The movie was enjoyable as long as we appreciated it for what it was--a trashy bit of fluff that showcased some fine physiques...and firefighter costumes...and black silky ties...and firefighter costumes...and military uniforms...and firefighter costumes. *sigh* Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, it's a fluff movie. But it gave us ladies a chance to hang out and have fun and share things that would make our husbands cringe. And really, what more could you ask for?

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