Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Magic Mike

So last weekend I went to see Magic Mike, the latest Channing Tatum film which involved him playing lead role as a male stripper. I have seen his impressive dance skills in numerous other films, and have even been a fan of his more serious films like Dear John and The Vow.

However, in my limited range of male-stripper-movie viewing, such films being The Full Monty and Deuce Bigalow – Male Gigolo, men have either been uncomfortably undressing or doing it comically.

I have seen endless movies where women dance or undress in a sexual way, most James Bond films have them in the titles for goodness sake, and films like Coyote Ugly or Burlesque encourage it. Women are, arguably, sexier and often objectified, so it's not a shock to see them acting in this openly seductive fashion.

Magic Mike was a sort of strange experience for me. I have never seen men try to entice women before, or play the 'meat' role. They were not even acting as prey; they were in control and liked to manipulate their female audience for money. At one point Matthew McConaughey's character said to the team 'You are the husband they never had!'.

The film actually had some pretty deep moments about growing up, drugs and friendship, which also surprised me, just not as much as seeing men objectify themselves (and be good at it).

In this small city there are a number of strip or lap dance clubs full of women who are there to be paid to be looked at. There is a Hooters restaurant in the neighbouring county. Women are accessible, they are everywhere, in real life as well as on screen. But never have I heard of such a place where men do the same and certainly not locally.

I was genuinely unsure of what to think of the film once it was over, so thought I would share my thoughts.

I don't think I have ever seen a cinema screen so full of women, nor such a close up of male genitalia on screen! Regardless of my own confused reaction, you can't argue that it is a refreshing role switch in the history of film making, and I'm glad to hear Tatum has already signed up for the filming of Magic Mike 2.

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