By Mary Meehan
I'll admit it. The pretty boys in various stages of undress were part of the allure of the film but when it comes to Magic Mike XXL it is the life lessons I took with me from that theater that really matter
I know, you may be thinking: Mary, you went all Fifty Shades of Nay when that other movie came out selling sex to middle aged women. I didn't like how it was pitched as "ohh, how cute middle aged women like bondage". And I won't apologize for not being a fan of women getting tied up and smacked around. Really there was a part of me who was jealous of that woman with the horrible British accent and little to no discernible writing ability was honored with creating "Mommy Porn". (Previously known as "Harlequin Romance")
That crazy hoopla took the weirdest turn when some super-eager marketer, who had, I can imagine, a very unusual relationship with his stuffed animals as a boy, created an adorable bondage bear with accessories.
But Magic Mike is different. Magic Mike XXL represents much of what is great about these United States. Yes, on the days before and after July 4th, 2015, when we collectively celebrate our independence and can-do spirit a group of brave, chiseled, actors dared to free themselves of their clothing.
God Bless America.
Full Disclosure: There were a lot of things I didn't like about the first Magic Mike. Heavily advertised as a joyful romp it was instead equal parts sexy time dancing and a labored attempt to shed light on the exploitation of male strippers. I don't know why the male stripper movie needed a social conscious. It would be like delving into eating disorders and the abuse of women in the fashion industry as a part of the Victoria's Secret "Fashion Show."
But when several critics said Magic Mike XXL was THE movie of the summer I felt it was my duty to give those daring boys my $6.99. Plus, the movie theater had recliners.
So here are my life lessons.
Lesson 1: Even a very handsome man with a giant penis, as portrayed in the movie by Joe Manganeillo,
despairs that he will never find someone to love all of him.
Lesson 2: When movie folks want to project a depth of character in a male himbo they put him in nerd specks.
Just like "Scientist" Tara Reid in Alone in the Dark.
Oh, too, there were lessons of the benefits of bromance, and Carpe Diem, a dusting of female empowerment and a critical lesson about never driving your artisanal Fro-Yo van with your eyes closed. But mostly, the actors seem to be having a very good time. Andie McDowell, especially, was having a blast as a beautiful, boozy belle.
And I can't forget Channing Tatum. He and the rest of the cast are unlikely to be getting any Oscar nods but he is charming and funny. I looked and looked for a picture that captured that winking good humor but couldn't find just the right one. So this one will have to do.
So, here is the biggest life lesson from Magic Mike XXL. Sometimes it OK to do something without a social message or a deep hidden meaning. The movie, much like this post, is an excuse to enjoy some of God's best work If it is pretty boys daring to be bare so be it.
Look what God made! Good job God!
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