If you went to see the first Magic Mike, you know how torturous the whole experience was.
All that sitting through Matthew McConaughey’s (“Dallas”) hilarious, oily MC’ing, Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike, the stripper with a heart of gold, Joe Manganiello’s “Big Dick” Richie and his penis pump… all that bumping, grinding, greased up abs, screaming women, unlikely romance, guys in g-strings, etc., etc.
Ugh, so tedious.
So when Magic Mike XXL was released, I figured it was my duty to watch the movie for you as your Bitch’in Suburbia and also as a “straight” vagina totin’ American AND as a fag hag who can spot a good scene for her gay boyfriends a mile away.
In a nut-shell: the filmmakers (99% male) thought that injecting a lot more dialog to show us that men are just like women — sharing feelings, gabbing about probiotic fro-yo, yapping about waxing, and then waxing poetic about marriage — was going “big.”
Sorry fellas, trying to hit that spot with your money shot meant too much bro time, not enough show time. (NOTE: This is a direct line uttered by Dallas’ MC replacement, Rome (played by the most excellent Jada Pinkett Smith).
And they’re not just strippers, dammit! They’re male entertainers, with the sole purpose to make all women feel like queens. Exalted, desired, and worshipped.
This is not what I have a problem with, mind you. I agree with all of that 100%.
But the truth about “male entertainers” is that the cheesy cliches — the cops, army men, fire fighters, etc. — are not so much of a turn-on. The times I’ve been face to face (well, more like crotch to face) with a stripper hasn’t offered the candy store approach of the fictional stripper convention that Mike and co. attend in Myrtle Beach, SC. (July 4th fireworks included!)
In real life, I’ve gotten a lap dance from a bored stripper who could barely muster a hip thrust to Prince’s “Darling Nikki” (I mean, seriously?), and hopped across the Canadian border for a bachelorette party that had a counter-climax: a faux circle jerk around the bride-to-be, mimed by a bunch of flabby, flaccid Canucks.
So the reality is that male entertainers come in all shapes and (ahem) sizes, Magic Mike is just a particularly well-manicured fantasy that perhaps we all need.
Lord knows the film makers are banking on it: the first installment cost just $7 million to make, and earned almost $168 million worldwide.
Can you blame the lads for wanting to make it bigger, longer, and more pleasurable?
Another bone(r) I had to pick is their inevitable portrayal of undersexed, pricey wine-drinking cougars. In their search to find somewhere to crash, the crew turns up at the home of a girl one of them was romancing, but instead find the young woman’s mom, rich Southern belle Nancy Davidson (Andi MacDowell), and her sad-sack posse of lonely, “my husband only screws me in the dark” ladies. Of course the dudes turn on the charm, and every X-chromosome in da house — young and old — get to feel the heat.
That is except the one angry chickadee (Amber Heard) who prefers to eat cake by herself in the kitchen… clearly the only person Mike is attracted to. The boy will dance his way into a challenge from any girl with the most cake, regardless of if he’s more of a cookie man himself. Although he does get bonus points from me for his female stripper name (“Clitoria Labia”) vs. the mopey millennial’s (“Dolly Titz”)
The only bow to cougardom I enjoyed was when Richie finally finds his “glass slipper” (aka, giant vagina) and has his one fulfilling sexual romp of the movie with Nancy. Still, did there have to be a Cinderella/fairy tale allusion in that moment, too?
Real women aren’t necessarily obsessed with fairy tales and marriage, or like whipped cream squirted all over their thighs. Just sayin’.
They do, however, enjoy a sexy dance in an unexpected place, set to a Backstreet Boys tune:
We also appreciate the message of female empowerment, which happens when it’s women doing the objectifying. Even if it’s mildly deflated when the objects sing dopey songs, get the ladies wet not just by feigning cunnilingus but also by tossing off a “heartfelt” compliment or two, and have to take drugs to get to their Oprah moment of self-awareness and a you go girl breakthrough to their authentic selves.
Oh, and Channing Tatum can dance the fuck out of anything — literally.
What’s my verdict, then?
Magic Mike got my 15 clams already, and if you don’t feel like driving your taco truck to the theater, you’ll surely be able to enjoy it in the privacy of your own home soon. But if you’d like a fun night out with your girls or boys, it’s a frothy little summer romp that’s far less expensive than say, flying to Vegas for an all-pro revue complete with bottle service.
So if you see me at deep-throating a water bottle (See: Richie “Big Dick” above) and using my iPhone to check if my brows are on fleek, just know that there are some fun lessons to be learned from MMXXL. And while I don’t always love being pandered to, this time I’ll take it… with a side of whipped cream.