Movie review: “Magic Mike”


It will tell you something about the weather hereabouts when I say that it was so flippin’ hot last weekend that we did not run out to see “Magic Mike.”



We managed to see it on Tuesday evening, however.



You won’t be surprised to hear that we were nearly the only men in the (packed) theater. It was definitely a Chippendales crowd: lots of mamas (and a few grandmas), giggly and excited. I was worried that they might lose their composure during the movie and rush the screen, but I am delighted to report that the theater was utterly silent during the film: all those mamas and grandmas wanted to soak up all that 100% American biceps-and-baby-oil goodness.



Naturally there were those, um, dance routines. Channing Tatum, in case you didn’t know, was a stripper for a while, and can really dance. He’s amazing: athletic, erotic, and funny all at the same time. He goes from a gawky kid’s grin to a smoldering stare in nothing flat.  Watching his routines made me feel funny, like when I sit on the washing machine during spin cycle.  The other cast members (Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez) do elaborate routines too, but they’re amateurs compared to Channing. (I wanted more Joe Manganiello. He’s adorable: huge and winsome. They give him lots of sidelong comedy bits: there’s a wonderful scene of him sitting at a sewing machine mending an outfit and wearing glasses. Did I mention he’s adorable?)



The movie begins with a young guy (Alex Pettyfer) with no prospects getting drawn into the male-stripper racket. Fun, games, lots of one-dollar bills.



Channing (AKA Magic Mike, the star dancer) takes Alex under his wing, partly at the behest of Alex’s serious sister (Cody Horn), who warns Channing that he’d better take care of her brother. And Channing tries, very hard, to take care of Alex.



But Alex does not want to be taken care of. He loves the whole scene: sex, drugs, excitement.  And Channing begins to realize that he’s too old for this. (There’s a scene in a bank in which he’s practically begging for a SBA loan to fulfill his dream of setting up a custom-furniture business; he’s even wearing glasses, in order to look more serious and earnest. The loan officer nearly orgasms when she sees him, but he doesn’t get the loan.)



The whole movie covers the space of three months. And it ends with a kiss.



The women sitting behind us howled with anger when they realized that there would be no more gyrating men. They felt cheated.



One last word: Matthew McConaughey plays the manager/owner of the strip club as a manipulator, and a weasel, and a sociopath, and very charming.  I generally loathe him, but he was perfect in this role; he even does a strip number that’s almost (but not quite) as erotic as any of Channing’s. Partner says he might be nominated for an Academy Award for this role, and I think it’s possible.



Go see it, girls, if you haven’t already, several times.



(But I still say we could have used a little more Joe Manganiello.)


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

2 Responses to Movie review: “Magic Mike”

  1. sinithwar says:

    Not gonna lie, he kinda looks like a porn star in that photo.

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