Saturday, July 18, 2015

They're called male entertainers

A few years ago my company held its annual meeting in Indianapolis. This event tends to go long into the night as we have an awards ceremony and party after the day long meeting. I, of course, am an old woman so I was in bed by the time the following event did or did not happen. Apparently there was an after-after party in one of the rooms that got a little loud. Hotel security was called and the party broke up. Guess who complained about the noise?

Channing Tatum.

Now as I've already mentioned, I was not directly involved but heard the story the next day from several people. It made me laugh and whenever I see any movie that Channing Tatum is in, this is what I think of first. I can't help myself.

Now if you live in a cave or maybe don't ever leave your house, you may be unaware that Magic Mike XXL is now playing in theaters. The movie tells the tale of a group of male strippers, I mean male entertainers, on a last hurrah kind of road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. That's pretty much the plot. Unlike its predecessor, Magic Mike, the sequel is light and fluffy and full of really, really attractive people taking off most of their clothing. The first movie was darker, Steven Soderberg-y, and played a bit like a morality tale. I saw the first movie on HBO because I couldn't bring myself to see it in the theaters by myself. Normally, going to movies by myself is my favorite but Magic Mike falls into one the categories of movies that should never be seen alone.

To review those categories are:
  1. Comic book movies or movies based on any popular novel series
  2. Romantic comedies 
  3. Buddy comedies
  4. Old school horror movies
  5. Women-centric movies (Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, etc.)
  6. Movies that feature ridiculously attractive casts
Magic Mike XXL fits into categories 3, 5, and 6. It's definitely a buddy comedy; these guys (Mike, Richie, Tarzan, Tito, and Ken) are the best of friends. Three years has not broken their dude bond and the trip is part of the process of forgiving Mike for leaving them to start his dream life (you remember: custom furniture business, no more stripping, and a lovely woman). This is really the only plot point outside of the trip. Mike is struggling to keep his business afloat and Brooke is no where to be found. Like the other guys, Mike is trying to figure out his path. The road trip and last stripper convention are like one weird StrengthsFinder assessment.

Thankfully, my friend Jordana was game to join me for the movie. We opted to go to one of the movie theaters that has the recliner seats. Seriously, always go for the recliner seat theater if you can. This is definitely a movie for the ladies; there were maybe two men in the theater (I'm guessing husbands or boyfriends). I had read and heard from other friends that the movie was more event than anything else. They were not wrong and that brings me to category 5. Surprisingly, it's a very feminist movie when you get down to it. Women are not objects in this movie; they are queens to be worshipped and treated with respect. I appreciated that women of varying ages (from 20s through 50s and older) and body types were represented. These guys are super hot sages when it comes to love and sex; we should all just randomly hang out with strippers (I mean male entertainers) who are on a trip of self discovery.

The crowd at the AMC Courthouse was both what I expected and what I couldn't have anticipated. I can only imagine that this is what it's actually like to go to a strip club (I've never been to one and don't plan to go to one anytime in the future). Even before Mike starts his routine to "Pony" the audience was cheering and whooping at the screen. We could hear one group of women discussing going to Myrtle Beach next summer (I don't really think the convention is a real thing). There were several "thank you Jesus" shouts  and more giggling than I've experienced at movie in recent months. It was just so funny and sincere and earnest. Mike and his boys did exactly what they set out to do: entertain us and make us smile.

My favorite moments:
  • Richie's gas station dance to "I Want It That Way" - he got the clerk to smile.
  • The Vogue off
  • The cake/cookie debate between Mike and Zoe
  • Rome's entire existence
  • The fact that Elizabeth Banks is in this movie with an awesome Southern accent.
  • Troy from Community and Michael Strahan are both in this movie. Inexplicably.
I don't believe I can do this movie justice. Frankly, you should just go see it. It's worth it.
Next week: On Wednesday, I'll be live tweeting Sharknado 3. You can follow me @eringarland2 for all the fun. I'll also be discussing the third installment here next weekend.

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