Hollywood movies are notorious for their shameless depiction of women as eye candy, often giving them little more presence than that offered by their looks, so it’s a pleasant surprise when every once in a while one comes along that flips the script. Such is the way with Magic Mike, one of the best films Channing Tatum has starred in, and which will be available on Netflix from next week (September 1st).
The pic follows Mike Lane, a popular stripper who’s beginning to tire of the fun but directionless life his work entails, and instead dreams of using his life savings to start a business creating custom furniture. At the same time, he ends up becoming a mentor for Adam, a college dropout needing work who he gets a job at the strip club, and also begins a tentative friendship and romance with the young man’s sister, Brooke.
Prior to its release in 2012, the movie was marketed as a light-hearted party romp featuring hot, ripped guys gyrating in ever-advancing states of undress to the adoring screams of crowds of beautiful women. While this is certainly a major aspect of it, the trailer mostly misses the plot also dealing with how a nocturnal life of perpetual fun, adulation and feeling like a god amongst men might be a great ride for a while, but is also a lifestyle ultimately unsustainable, and Mike, knowing the party can’t last forever and looking to the future, exemplifies this perfectly.
The script was partially based on Channing Tatum’s own time as a stripper prior to breaking into acting, with his experiences somewhat mirroring those of Adam. It also may well be where he developed a sense of humor about his looks, often displaying a willingness to play up to them.
While Magic Mike isn’t quite the throwaway caper it was advertised as, that it delves beyond the surface level of Florida partying makes it even more of a compelling story and well worth checking out. As well as its abundance of six-packs, of course.