Director Steven Soderbergh’s R-rated character study (and surprise box office hit) takes us behind-the scenes and deep into the subculture of male strippers. The film is objectively impressive in the areas of acting, writing, and directing. There’s no question about that. It’s just too sleazy and sexualized for my taste.
When “Boogie Nights” came out fifteen years ago, the idea of showing us the humanity and fractured family behind the “money shot” felt fresh and original. But now, maybe because I’ve gotten older or maybe because the idea’s become cliché, no matter how much humanity is poured over deviancy, these stories just make me squirm.
I enjoy counterculture as much as anyone, but only when it’s presented as such. Nowadays, what used to be proudly countercultural is presented as normal, while portraying as freaks those of us who don’t identify ourselves by our sexuality.
That’s the immoral moral of “Magic Mike,” and too many others like it. Newsflash, America: Don’t you know that those of you made nauseous by the very thought of threesomes, loveless sex, and the idea of leading with your sexuality are the counterculture now — the freaks, the abnormal?
Certainly, I can appreciate the skill of such a project, but that doesn’t mean its agenda doesn’t creep me out and make me want to take a bath.
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