Magic Mike

There’s a scene midway through Steven Soderbergh’s new comedy (Magic Mike) where twenty-something Brooke (Cody Horn) returns to her posh Tampa Bay apartment, finds her teen 'baby brother' Adam (Alex Pettyfer) using her feminine accoutrements in the bathroom. When he tries to explain, she asks, 'Why do you shave your legs for work?'

That’s the funny thing about male strippers in the heterosexual world - clubs where the guests are women. Why do these young ladies want bodies that are not so different from theirs as might be?  Why are the men so eager to shorn themselves of their mammalian signs of masculinity, and remove the forests they have that women don’t have?

Adam (19 according to the story) has been brought into this world, rather by accident by Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), a 30-year-old who needs to come up with other business ideas (and loans) because his days as a 'young enough' man are numbered. Not so for the boss, Dallas (Texas actor Matthew McConaughey), who looks appropriate plucked at all times. As they say about competitive swimmers and cyclists, 'They boys' legs and the girls' legs are the same. They teach the story of Jacob and Esau in Sunday school, and say that Jacob turned out to be as 'much man' after all. But in this movie, the self-depilation, carried out with no shame, brings back memories of what those 1961 tribunals at William and Mary were all about. All my Army buddies from Fort Eustis - they’ll remember me - 'The Walrus', 'Rado Suhl', etc. as the 'hormones' man and cackle when they see this film. I saw it Sunday night in a large (very cool) Regal auditorium in Arlington, the day after a power failure shutdown caused by Friday night's derecho. The place was almost full of people escaping the heat, and the ticket lines were long for a Sunday night. I wish Warner Brothers would keep it’s wonderful Casablanca introduction to all its films. It left it out on this one. The link for the official site is here.