It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Whether you're a man or woman, making money by allowing people to push cash inside your g-string is, I think we can agree, demeaning. It's probably worse for women, because the big spenders with $2 probably harbor some vague dream of sleeping with them. In the case of male strippers, I suspect their female fans are looking more for fun and some laughs on their girls' night out.
I could be wrong about this. I'm right about the job, however. Selling anyone the right to touch your genital area for a couple of bucks is not a good way to build self-esteem. Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike" makes this argument with a crafty mixture of comedy, romance, melodrama and some remarkably well-staged strip routines involving hunky, good-looking guys. I have a feeling that women will enjoy the film more than men.
Or maybe not. The sculpted bodies on display are a monument to narcissism; a guy who spends hours a day improving his pecs and abs may offer limited conversational skills. Kelly Oxford, the Canadian housewife who won a Hollywood contract for her tweets, just the other week tweeted: "FWIW, I'd rather f*** a 260-pound guy than a body builder."
"Magic Mike" has the fascination of most backstage movies: It shows a naive kid being drawn into the world of show business. He is Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a handsome 19-year-old, who meets Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) while they're working on a roofing job. Mike dances three nights a week at Xquisite, a marginally successful Tampa strip club. Mike brings Adam along to the club, where he's fast-talked by the boss, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). The kid has no desire to strip but is pushed onstage wearing his street clothes and told to undress down to his jockey shorts. He is awkward and embarrassed — and not surprisingly an enormous hit, because the ladies think his shyness is an act and love it.