Here’s the thing about “Magic Mike,” which opens Friday. It’s not “Showgirls.” But, in a way, it’s about “Showgirls.”
“Magic Mike” is a stripper story, it’s true. And, yes, Channing Tatum, who plays the title character, takes a lot of clothes off his body, which has a lot of muscles on it. Like, a lot. Like, so many muscles, one might lose control of a sentence and … wait, I’m sorry, what? Anyway … What “Magic Mike” makes clear, though, is that the displays of wildly heightened sexuality that strippers put on (male strippers, in this case) are, frankly, laughable. Director Steven Soderbergh is careful to show the reactions of the (all-female) members of the audience in the film’s strip club. They are doing one of two things: laughing, or putting their hands over their faces. The women around me in the (very crowded) theater also were doing one of two things: laughing, or putting their hands over their faces.
The movie is very aware that the hyper-masculine brand of sexuality that the film’s strippers are attempting to sell is HILARIOUS. And when you see just how stupid the men look — even Channing Tatum, who manages to look stupid while also looking really, really hot, like so hot that … hang on, let me finish this sentence — it makes you wonder just how we accepted their female counterparts as, well, sexy.