Monday, July 09, 2012
Feel Good Movie Of The Century: Sex, Lies and G-strings
No one is more surprised than me that I have gone gaga over Channing Tatum. A few years ago when I was bartending on Queen Street East, my co-worker Jamie used to rag on me that "You only like the pretty boys". I was like, "No I don't... they like me, I can't help it." There is just something awful about only liking pretty boys. I resisted his opinion even as this very pretty guy was picking me up after work. No, I'm not that shallow, really. I don't just love the pretty boys...and I say this even as I realize I was lucky enough to fall in love with the prettiest boy of them all, my Stagg. Pretty and wonderful!
So, my denial of liking pretty boys at bay...it's no surprise that I would be heading out to the new dance movie Magic Mike as soon as possible. After all a movie cast of half a dozen pretty boys...naked...hello. I LOVE dance movies. Two words, right? Gene Kelly. One of my first movie loves. I obsess over So You Think You Can Dance and have seen most dance movies in theatres as soon as they come out. Magic Mike is as good as they get.
Magic Mike backstage genre offers layers of reverie for behind the scenes of The American Dream and is an excellent metaphor for being an artist, a film maker and the corruption of the capitalist dictatorship of the United States. It also riffs on porn movies with it's hazy shots of construction workers, prosaic meetings in tropical houses, and characters who all know that we are animals capable of having sex twenty times a day. And although it does have insight into how difficult it is to live an honest hard working life and follow ones dreams it also functions perfectly as "entertainment" with a lot of fun dancing, humour, and chemistry between the love interests. Its dark side doesn't remain trapped existentially, there is a way out. Women have been watching movies about themselves in this role and setting for decades. A really wonderful aspect of this movie is seeing men in these roles and it not being a complete tragedy (like Midnight Cowboy or American Gigilo). Watching men struggle with issues women deal with all the time is quite rewarding...there are morality lessons here but they are portrayed freshly via gender-bending. As a genre-bending movie this is one of it's best accomplishments.
This is a damn fun movie. And don't even get me started about Matthew McConnaughy. He appears under-used at first...like a gimmick...he is fantastic...but he hits his stride as a supporting actor in this movie towards the final scenes. He is beyond good. He really really is perfect. We know this guy. He is one of the climaxes of the movie and I did not see it coming at all. He should get an Oscar nomination for this role. So should Tatum. McConnaughy just might but I doubt Tatum will. The good news is Tatum will get a lot more roles where he'll be able to show us all his acting chops.
I can not wait to see this movie again. And again! Obviously I'm giving it a 10/10.
I can't wait to drag my pretty boy husband to see this movie!