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Laramie Movie Scope:
Magic Mike

Male strippers, seriously

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 1, 2012 -- A movie about male strippers sounds like comedy material, along the lines of “Rock of Ages,” but this movie is pretty serious, more along the lines of “Boogie Nights,” well, not quite that serious. This romantic drama is about a couple of men who get caught up in the destructive lifestyle of a small-time strip joint in Florida. One of them likes the situation, while the other one decides he has had enough and wants out.

Adam (played by Alex Pettyfer of “I Am Number Four”) is a slacker who has just moved in with his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn of “Flipped”). On a construction job, Adam crosses paths with Magic Mike, who is working his day job. Magic Mike cleverly manipulates Adam into helping him recruit girls to go to a nightclub called Xquisite he works for. Adam gets sucked into the seedy world of male stripping at Xquisite, run by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey of “The Lincoln Lawyer”). Magic Mike, the star of the show, also gets a percentage of the take. Adam finds that he has a knack for male stripping. The money is good and the girls are plentiful. What's not to like?

Drug and alcohol abuse, drug dealing and other nightclub temptations start to catch up with both Adam and Magic Mike, who falls in love with Adam's sister, Brooke. That's a problem because Brooke, a straight shooter, will not put up with Magic Mike's dissolute lifestyle. Both Magic Mike and Adam have some growing up to do. That leads to dramatic tension. The actual male stripping shows are pretty raunchy and probably more elaborate than you would find in a low-rent nightclub like Xquisite. There are cowboy-themed shows, military, firefighter and police costumes, with some fairly elaborate music, lighting and stage effects. This is reminiscent of the old Village People stage act, and it is reportedly popular with some of the Village People's fan base, too.

Mostly, however, this story is a romance between Magic Mike and Brooke. It is all about Magic Mike growing up and becoming a man worthy of Brooke's affections. This basic romantic plot is extremely traditional. A traditional love story, combined with raunchy male stripping routines, makes for a strange combination, but it works. The details are different but the basic plot about a guy caught in a bad situation who is transformed by love is a standard kind of story for a movie.

The pacing of the film slows down too much in the middle and the plot is fairly conventional and predictable, but the acting is solid enough to carry the show. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)