Magic Mike, the Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and Videotape; Erin Brockovich, and Ocean’s Eleven, among others) open this Friday to a nation full of rabid fans hoping to see if Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello – among other A-list buffed and waxed hunks – will really take it all off.
But according to reviewers, the flick is not all about grinding moves and muscles. The director has apparently introduced some complexity to the story “loosely” based on Tatum’s own past as a stripper in Florida, and inspired in the 1920s and 1930s “fallen-girl” movie in which cash-strapped working-class gals fall through the cracks only to be redeemed (or not) by the male lead (think Pretty Woman as a newer version).
"Magic Mike," however, is not as concerned about his female’s opinion regarding what he does for a living. Despite the main character’s preoccupation for “finding true love” while having fun entertaining a room full of eager ladies, Mike is more concerned about fulfilling his professional ambitions – which in this case involve furniture designing. This gives the plot an economic angle.
The flip also steps into the moral realm, as Mike -- who becomes the newer kid’s mentor -- suggests the “sex, drugs & rock and roll” lifestyle that male-stripping may promote is really bad – a wink to Hollywood and its contradictory lifestyles of good girls gone bad.
In the meantime, Matthew McCounaghey (Sahara, Failure to Launch), one of the starts of the film, said that stripping is “like a drug.” The actor, who recently married Brazilian model Camila Alves (to whom he admitted he will bring a couple of new “moves” learned at the Magic Mike set) was once arrested for playing the bongos while naked. “I can wait to do it again,” the actor said.