Misty Harris finds socially acceptable reasons to see summer’s bulging tentpole
By Misty Harris
With the Magic Mike XXL debut just around the corner, haters are dialling up the discontent to a full Nancy Grace. Their main critique is that while the Soderbergh-directed original was dark and provocative, the sequel appears to be little more than a big-budget manspoitation film.
Incidentally, this is the precise reason I’ve already purchased tickets. The tentpole is real, people, and it looks spectacular.
On that note, today’s Decoder lays bare the Top 10 socially acceptable excuses to #ComeAgain for Magic Mike. Haters, consider yourselves warned.
1. Supporting the arts: This time around, the dance portion of the movie looks to be as enhanced as Joe ‘Big Dick Richie’ Manganiello (if you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s as if Step Up and Flashdance had a baby and named it Ab Flex). Getting your culture on has never looked this good.
2. Feminism: Ok, so equal-opportunity objectification isn’t exactly what Gloria Steinem had in mind with women’s lib. But given that actresses are more than twice as likely as actors to appear partially or full nude on screen (24.2% vs 11.5%) and to be shown in provocative clothes (24.8% vs 9.4%), it only seems fair that MMXXL tips the scales in the opposite direction. Ergo, if anyone confronts you about seeing this movie, flip over a table and yell: “I’M DOING IT FOR THE STRUGGLE!”
3. Rewarding truth in advertising: You can’t deny the appeal of a product that not only acknowledges its own superficiality but flaunts it; this is Kardashian 101. Thanks to the trailer, which stores more cheese than Liz Lemon’s refrigerator, audiences are duly informed that where other plots twist and turn, MMXXL is likelier to gyrate and thrust.
4. Finishing what you start: If you saw the first movie, it’s your responsibility as a proper adult to see the sequel. It’s all about seeing something through to its conclusion, no matter what the end result might be. (This is why I don’t believe in wine-stoppers)
5. A night out with friends: Because there’s a fine line between being a hip recluse and being a one-woman Grey Gardens.
6. tWitch: Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, a regular on The Ellen Show and So You Think You Can Dance, is what Prozac would look like if it took human form. That the affable deejay/dancer is the newest member (ahem) of the Magic Mike team is as good an excuse as any to buy a ticket.
7. Channing Tatum: People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive is beautiful, self-deprecating, a highly skilled dancer, a loyal friend, a besotted husband and a doting dad. To ask for more from a man would just be greedy. And greed is a sin. Therefore, going to see MMXXL can be rationalized as a religious experience. BOOM!
8. Literacy: MMXXL’s biggest box-office competition is Terminator: Genisys, an action movie in which the first casualty is spelling.* Did we learn nothing from The Pursuit of Happyness? A vote for Mike is a vote for the future of the English language.
9. Inclusive casting: Show Hollywood producers that you support the casting of openly gay men in hetero-heartthrob roles. Especially when they look like Matt Bomer.
10. Fighting ageism: The male stars of MMXXL range in age from 32 to 55 (roughly 48 to 82 in female years). And while ageism doesn’t hit actors nearly as hard as actresses,** it’s still important to back movies in which the romantic leads wouldn’t get carded buying booze. Put simply: your purchase of a Magic Mike ticket could be the only thing standing in the way of a 2016 remake of Pride and Prejudice starring Jaden Smith as Mr. Darcy.
* I realize that ‘Genisys,’ despite sounding like a cyborg stripper with daddy issues, is an acronym for General Identification System. But because the movie’s working title was Genesis, I stand by my evaluation that the new version is a dumb gimmick.
** An Amy Schumer sketch recently observed that male actors “could be 100 and have nothing but white spiders coming out (of their penises) but they’re (still considered) f*ckable.”