The problem with most sequels is that you already got everything you wanted out of the first movie. The perfect movie always leaves you wanting more – but the sequels tend to give you way too much. In the case of Magic Mike, the first movie sucked so badly that the sequel could only get better, and ladies, believe me when I say this, Magic Mike XXL was EXACTLY the stripper movie we all wanted.
This is what I said I wanted in the first movie:
I didn't go into a stripper movie expecting much. In fact, I was pretty clear that I wasn't interested in the "talky bits." I wanted hot, naked men dancing for my amusement without the hassle of a two-drink minimum and a handful of dollar bills that I am supposed to stick into dirty, sweaty, spangled thongs. I wanted a movie made for women - sweet romance with a hot lead, swoon-worthy secondary characters for comic relief, and at least one really good sex scene.
Check. Check. And while there wasn’t a sex scene, I am pretty damn sure that the finale was much, much dirtier than 50 Shades. Much.
The second movie had it all. I’ve been to my fair share of stripper shows (don’t ask), and I was always amazed at how ridiculous the men looked. There is nothing remotely sexy about spangled thongs. In, most women prefer nothing more than a man in pair of tight jeans hanging low off a set of tanned abs. Nothing is hotter than a man who can make us laugh, or a man who can sing, or a man who knows how to wear a tux. Check. Check. And Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, double check.
This movie was fun. It was a good time. I was once again accompanied by a wonderful set of women and we laughed, not at the movie, but WITH the movie. There was spontaneous applause, not once, but often. (Yes, I totally clapped like a child presented with candy when Matt Bomer busted out Bryan Adam’s “Heaven.”) The audience was involved, entertained, and delighted with what was on screen. Yes, it was a dumb stripper movie, but it was a perfect dumb stripper movie in that it didn’t try to be anything else. Did the men strip? You betcha! But in between, there wasn’t a lot of dead space. Each character had a chance to shine a bit, to be more than a cardboard cut-out with a six-pack, and to dance like no one was watching. Trust me, we were watching. Oh hell yes, we were watching.
While I may never be able to listen to the Backstreet Boys with the same level of innocence, I will also never see Michael Strahan the same way. And I’m pretty sure that Joe Manganiello just bumped himself straight up to the top of my list. Good lord. He wore a tux and made a really, really well-timed vampire joke? Hey baby, I think I want to marry you.
Last time, I told the friend who was unable to attend that I’d buy the popcorn for the next movie because I wasn’t going back to see the first one. This time, I am ready, willing, and able to go back to see it with any one of you who did not make opening night. And ladies, let’s be clear – leave the men and the kids at home. This is one is for the girls.
(Closing note: I can only hope and pray that one day, if I am a very good girl and God is kind, that I too will have a book club meeting like the one in the movie. You are all invited. Promise.)