I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey. I’m beginning to feel like the only woman in the world who hasn’t. It’s all anyone seems to talk about. Even my mother bought the trilogy.
But I have seen Magic Mike. And I liked it. Not because it had a great storyline or Oscar-worthy acting. But because it made me giggle and gasp and squeal and tingle.
I thought I was being a bit shallow, enjoying a movie about male strippers so much. Then I discovered it was directed by Steven Soderbergh, who’s produced critically acclaimed movies like Sex, Lies And Videotape and Traffic. That made me feel a little less low rent. This wasn’t just some Show
girls Blokes flick.
Well, it was a bit – ok, a lot – but at least now I can discuss the deeper messages Soderbergh had for the viewer – “it was fascinating how he turned the tables on the traditional sex roles and had a man struggling to be recognised for his brain rather than his body, blah, blah blah …” – and the gorgeous way he shot some of the scenes, rather than simply gasping about how amazing all those pecs and butt cheeks were.
Before I discovered the Soderbergh connection, the main thing I walked out of the cinema thinking – after PHWOAR – was: “Please don’t let my children grow up to have a threesome, overdose on drugs, then have their vomit eaten by Elvis Presley’s granddaughter’s potbellied pig”. Yes, that is one of the major plot points. I should point out that Riley Keogh was acting, she doesn’t really own a potbellied pig that eats vomit … I don’t think.
My next thought was: “What’s with the hype about Channing Tatum? I’m not getting it.”
Followed by: “I’m finally getting the Matthew McConaughey thing, he is HAWT, especially when he bends over in a g-string”.
Plus: “Matthew McConaughey played crazy really well … probably because he wasn’t acting.”
And finally: “Should I be feeling bad – instead of gooooood – about watching a movie that objectifies men?”
I didn’t bother with such trifles while I was in the cinema, I just sat there with one hand clapped over my mouth, the other clutching my sister’s arm, while silently chanting “Oh my giddy aunt, oh my giddy aunt, oh my giddy aunt”.
There’s a lot of muscled male flesh on display in Magic Mike. And heaps of pelvic gyrating. Lots of male strippers giving women lap dances and rubbing their groins in their faces and simulating sex on the floor. It’s simultaneously discomforting, tacky and arousing. Especially when Joe Manganiello’s in a scene, though perhaps not the one where he’s vacuum-pumping his penis to make it bigger for his act. Oh my giddy aunt, oh my giddy aunt, oh my giddy aunt …
So, two days later, I still can’t decide whether it’s wrong to watch a movie to perve at half-naked men being treated like sex objects. I don’t know how happy I’d be about Husband watching a movie about female strippers and trying to tell me it was art.
How about you?