Male stripper film ‘Magic Mike’ is now available on DVD, and Jesse Kornbluth has a surprising review.
“Magic Mike” is the most enjoyable American movie I saw last year.
The film about a male stripper grinding a few inches from women’s faces and thrusting his package as they slip money inside his thong?
The film starring People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” Channing Tatum?
Yes, that one.
My wife and I saw it because Stephen Soderbergh — the first filmmaker in 60 years to have two films (“Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich”) nominated for Best Picture in a single year — directed it. We had modest expectations. We left totally surprised and entertained.
We’re not alone in loving “Magic Mike.” It cost $7 million, has grossed $150 million, and Soderbergh and Tatum are working on a sequel. [To buy the DVD from Amazon, click here. To rent or buy the streaming video from Amazon for instant gratification, click here.]
Funny, isn’t it: the history of art until the mid-19th century is all about the male gaze. The woman in the picture is an object. As a general rule, we see her, but she doesn’t see us. She’s looking to the side or, demurely, down. Which is an exact expression of the gender relationship: the all-powerful male, the submissive woman.
At clubs like Chippendale’s, that relationship is flipped — it’s all about the female gaze. The club is filled with women, mostly married, on a “night out.” The performers are hunky young men with shaved and oiled chests. And there are, as the Chippendale’s web site says, “multiple opportunities for intimate audience participation.”
In “Magic Mike,” we go behind the scenes of those lives. Mike Lane, 30, works under the Florida sun as a roofer. At night, he’s the star of the Kings of Tampa, who dance at Matthew McConaughey’s Club Xquisite. And on the side, he designs furniture and sees that as his future.
The plot is 1930s Hollywood. Mike befriends a kid, gets him a job as a dancer, and promises the kid’s sister he’ll look after him. The kid gets in trouble. The sister gets pissed. And then… “
“Magic Mike” is, by genre, a dramatic comedy. With constant movement. And a correctly naughty attitude toward sex.Watch the preview.
Originally appeared at Head Butler
For a different perspective on the film, read Magic Mike: Something Much Worse Than the Objectification of Men