Magic Mike in the Magic City: Girls’ Night Out Report
There’s one thing that Magic Mike is going to prove, and that is women can enthusiastically fill a theater and we don’t need to cajole a date into sitting through a movie with us. For too long, the “Chick Flick” has been defined as weepy romance, and any Bridesmaids fan can tell you we’ve barely scratched the surface of good material.
So let’s scratch that surface, shall we, by reviewing some observations from a 12:01 a.m. opening day screening of Magic Mike (which is humbly offered for the sake of research):
* Lots of ladies are happy to break out of the house after the kids are in bed and rush to a girls’ getaway. In fact, the ridiculous hour made the effort as thrilling as sneaking in after curfew and not getting caught. Not that we ever did that.
* Thirty minutes before showtime one of the Magic Mike marquee listings flashed “Sold Out,” which could have been catastrophic had there not been a second theater in the multiplex with tickets available. You do not want to disappoint an army of women who are sacrificing precious sleep to see this movie.
* Ladies who would never pay money to walk into a live show were softly muttering at the ticket counter, “One for ‘Magic’, please.” Notice, when you put it like that, it sounds like you’re buying admission to a Disney princess fable.
* Matthew McConaughey is perfectly cast as a parody of his usual persona. Nobody does the slightly greasy, eccentric wild man better than our boy from Texas. And let’s just say that the wild man doesn’t have much left to share.
*Channing Tatum is back at his Tyler Gage (from Step Up) style moves, only stepped up for real. It is safe to say there could not have been too much Channing. How about a feature film of Channing dancing and nothing else?
* For discussion: What was it like to be an extra in the audience on that set? And on multiple takes, did the extras roll their eyes with exasperation, like “here we go again,” or was there just glassy-eyed awe from the first take to the last?
* Plot: Puh-leeze, you know there is no plot! And the dialogue is overwhelmingly one word that serves as a modifier for all other words (screenplay written by a man with an apparently limited vocabulary).
* Okay, there was a bit of superfluous plot between dance scenes, and frankly we could have just dispensed with it. For one thing, the “plot” went a little darker than expected, and for another, the romantic tension promised in the movie’s trailers was (spoiler alert!*) not resolved in proportion to expectations. Did we pitch the just-let-Channing-dance idea already?
* Despite the fact that there was no build-up of suspense, no not-to-miss special effects and no complicated sequencing to follow closely (unless you count scene intros that say JUNE…JULY…AUGUST), no one stepped away to go to the restroom. That is most unusual. Just think of that room full of overactive bladders holding out until the last credit rolled. There was no telling when a dance scene would pop up, and nobody was going to miss what they came to see (this theory was confirmed through discussions in the post-movie line outside the ladies’ room).
If you don’t get to Magic Mike in the theater, the inevitable You Tube clips will fill you in. Just get out with your girlfriends – there will be plenty more movies to come now that the chick flick has been let loose.
Can you spoil a plot if there isn’t one?