Magic Mike ***

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It will be interesting to get audience reactions from this film. The previews show the film as a romantic comedy mixed in with scenes of Channing Tatum stripping. But the movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who is responsible for “Traffic”, “Oceans Eleven”, and “Contagion”.

What the previews do not tell you is that this is actually a character study about a male dancer who takes a young dancer under his wing and tries to look out for him. Eventually the younger dancer descends in to drugs and depravity.

Channing Tatum plays Mike and Alex Pettyfer is his young protege. They meet while on a construction job. After a little persuasion the young man finds himself on stage for the first time. He is embarrassed and shy but the ladies go nuts because they think that is his act.

Mike is the main show at the club. His performances are very athletic and drive the women wild. All the dance performances in this movie are well staged and professional.

Matthew Mcconaughey is the owner of the club which is based in Tampa Bay. He is trying to acquire a major spot in Miami which would be more financially lucrative. Mike sees his future in a custom home furniture business but his reputation makes it hard for him to receive the right loans.

Mike also has a girl he likes but she is turned off by his profession and his life style. She is also the sister of his protege dancer.

Why I think the wrong audience is going to show up is because Soderbergh gets in to the lives of these characters. This is not about stripping and partying. Well it is but underneath it gets to know its characters and gets in to their lives a bit. My only gripe is that I didn’t think the film went far enough. The darkness was touched on but not fully explored.

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