By Kyra Kirkwood
Film (with rating): Magic Mike (R)
Studio: Warner Home Entertainment Group
Summary: A popular male stripper takes a young dancer under his wing and schools him in the fine art of partying, picking up women and taking off his clothes for money.
Review: Director Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) created a surprisingly sassy, spicy and slightly moralistic tale involving male exotic dancers. Don’t get confused; this is no “Traffic,” and when Soderbergh tries to venture into that arena, “Mike” falters. But luckily, the movie doesn’t toe that line very often. Instead, we’ve got a handful of young, talented dancers who spend their lives partying and living the fantasy life coveted by most young men. But Mike (Channing Tatum, who was a real-life stripper in his teen years) wants more, and it’s going to take a virtuous woman to help him get a more grounded, real life.
But who am I kidding? This film, while it does have a surprisingly rich plot peppered with likeable characters, is pretty much a 110-minute drool fest featuring some of the snappiest dancing, gorgeous glutes and yummy eye candy of any film since….I’m not really sure. “Mike” is like “Showgirls” and “Flashdance,” but for girls, and with some brains. It’s this strange hybrid of bachelorette party and cozy romantic dinner. And it works. Well, I think it works. I’m still a bit flustered by all those gleaming pecs and crazy dance moves (thank you, Channing!). The movie is full of clichés, but somehow, it all works out.
I think it’s the magic of the pecs.
Extra highlight: The extended dance scenes “too hot for theaters.”
What to serve for dinner: A bottle of merlot and your kids’ Halloween candy.
What to talk about over dinner: Would you ever date a stripper? Would you ever be a stripper? Who was your favorite character? Have you ever been to a strip club? Ever had a stripper at one of your parties? What’s up with Matthew McConaughey and his crazy weight loss for a new film?