As a woman, I have spent the past few weeks salivating at my television in anticipation of this day. It is impossible to avoid the trailers and teasers that have been making women all over the world sweat. The glorious, highly anticipated release date… of Magic Mike. (No spoilers, I promise!)
Fortunately, I have too many apps for my own good, and during a half-hour session of killing time playing with my phone, I discovered (shout out to the Cineplex Mobile app, one of my faves) a local advanced showing of the film. As a movie-lover and a longtime Alex Pettyfer worshipper (ladies, if you didn’t know him when he was Alex Rider, look it the fuck up, and your preteen self will wonder how you ever lived without for so long), I was psyched.
I’ve always enjoyed opening night at the movies. Nobody goes to see a movie on opening night unless they’re really interested. The crowds, the mass amount of teenagers, the lines, and you KNOW you’re going to have to fight to keep your group of five together, especially because you’re late (again) and of course (again) there are no empty blocks of seats five minutes before the movie starts… nobody wants to deal with that unless it’s a) a damn good movie or b) a movie you’ve been looking forward to. Once you’re in the theatre, seated, and finally satisfied with your sitting position, the true movie experience begins.
With their women-driven advertising, and spot-on ad campaigns (those “LEAVE YOUR MAN AT HOME” spots that have been teasing your television, more and more every week), Magic Mike is a movie that marketed itself incredibly. Two steps into the theatre tonight, I could tell they had succeeded. Practically every seat was full, and I could count the men in the theatre on one hand. The cinema was teeming with estrogen, and it was in the air. Excited conversation buzzed around the theatre: every woman had clearly been looking forward to this for a while; my friend and I arrived with 15 minutes to spare, and still had to work to get decent seats. However, we settled on some off-centre mid-level seats: pretty good, all things considered. And then, the movie began.
If you ever saw any of the Twilight films in theatres (no judgement, we’re all friends here) you know what it’s like to be in a theatre with girls of all ages getting “emotional” over a film’s stars. And by “emotional,” I mean “screaming hysterically at Taylor Lautner’s body.” Magic Mike was different. These women weren’t fangirling preteens screeching over the latest teen heartthrob. These women were a crowd of strangers with one thing in common: they were here to see a show, and that they did. When Alex Pettyfer tore off his clothes, we cheered. When Matthew McConaughey pulled out his guitar, we melted. When Channing Tatum cried, we cried. We laughed, we gasped, we laughed some more, and when the show was over, we clapped. When a movie engages the audience the way Magic Mike does, it’s absolutely worth the money, and even more worth your time. Nothing enhances the experience of seeing a great movie more than a crowd with incredible energy.
The movie itself was great, as well. Sure, it’s probably not going to win anybody any Oscars, but it was much higher-quality than I was expecting, even with director Steven Soderbergh, of the Oceans Eleven series. +1 to Channing Tatum as well, for jumping in feet-first as a producer as well, and doing a damn good job. As a broadcasting student, watching movies has changed for me entirely (I spend half my time analyzing the damn thing and zoning out of the plot), and Magic Mike passed the test. It was engrossing, engaging, and gave me an opportunity to say something I’ve been DYING to discuss.
What’s so wrong with stripping? Stripping can be an empowering, confidence-boosting, active way of making some extra cash. It’s a way of taking charge of your own sexuality and using it constructively. In the film, Tatum defends his job, saying (and this happens in several previews, so I KNOW this isn’t a spoiler) “I am not my lifestyle.” I think this is totally, 100% accurate. If someone needs a job, male or female, and has the confidence and the skill to work as a stripper, I see nothing wrong with that. Stripping is safe (hence the bounty of security detail always surrounding strip clubs), as long as you do it right. Now, I’m not about to head out to Zanzibar and apply for a job, but as a woman, as a student, and as a rent-payer in one of the most expensive cities in the country… I’m not about to rule it out as an option, and I don’t think it should be shameful to do so.
And, ladies… I would highly recommend you check out the preview for “For a Good Time, Call..” It looks like it’s got Bridesmaids-like potential, with Seth Rogen and Justin Long starring alongside two rising stars (one that you’ll recognize from Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and one you won’t recognize unless you know what Seth Rogen’s fiancee looks like)
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think: leave a comment!