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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Bonding with daughters over snacks and 'Magic Mike'

  • Bring on the sequel.


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  • Nothing says "I love you" to your daughters like spending a delightful evening bonding over Cherry Berry and the ultimate chick flick full of hot guys.
        OK, call me a bad mother for encouraging bad behaviors in my nearly adult and adult girls. I never would have taken my sweet, innocent 15-year-old to an R-rated movie, but she was gone for the week anyway. There are worse places to go for unhealthy indulgences; at least the frozen yogurt and sherbet at Cherry Berry are low or nonfat, and the fruit mix-ins are healthy additions – it's the candy toppings that rack up the empty calories. And for the record, the whole evening, especially the movie, was my middle child's idea, so just who is corrupting who?
        Now, I normally would not go for something that on the mere premise looks to be a shallow male exploitation film about a bunch of male strippers, full of sex, drugs and you name it. Unlike many women my age, I have never even seen a live male stripper show, nor would I go now and be super red-faced the whole time. As I read reviews and other stories about "Magic Mike," however, my interest was piqued. There appeared to be more to this flick than meets the eye. Plus, who can resist Matthew McConaughey and his perfect specimen of a 40-plus-year-old body and cute southern drawl?
        My daughter could hardly contain her enthusiasm as premiere day drew nearer, and when this girl gets excited about something, that's all she talks about. Needless to say, this movie was the main topic of conversation, on her part, for the last week and a half.
        Her main focus in the movie, and the whole reason she really wanted to go to it, was an actor who also stars in one of her favorite TV series. She so looked forward to seeing the guy's dreamy eyes and tousled hair, along with some sizzling dance moves. Alas, she was disappointed that we didn't see more of him. No, not as in more of his body – they showed plenty of that when he did appear – but rather, more screen time. As one of the supporting strippers, he just didn't have a ton of lines or screen time.
        There's a first time for everything, and I had never ever in my 49 1/2 years been sheepish about purchasing movie tickets – until this weekend. When the attendant asked how he could help me, a little wave of embarrassment come over me when it came time to say "three for Magic Mike," and I even found myself stumbling a bit over the words.
        Once in the theater, we were amazed to actually spot, among the sea of females steadily entering, a group of guys who appeared to be related, as well as a sprinkling of other males with dates. Excited Daughter had staunchly maintained that no straight guy would be caught dead seeing this movie. I, on the other hand, correctly stated that a few would go for reasons such as pure curiosity, to get in their beloveds' good graces, or being dragged unwillingly or otherwise bribed by their significant others. Guess I know the male gender a little better that her (as well I should).
    Page 2 of 2 -     While I may not have the oldest person in the theater, it was certainly close. The median age range appeared to be mid-20s, with quite a few teens and 30-somethings mixed in. As the movie got underway and the audience loudly reacted to the opening sexually explicit scene, I laughed rather stiffly while sitting arm to arm next to my oldest, who I'm sure was also somewhat uncomfortable during the scene. 
        Once the plot started evolving, the movie was riveting. It's not an adventure, mystery or edge-of-your-seat suspense, mind you, but the intricacies of the characters and their complicated lives drew me in. Turns out, it's a character study. Who'd have thought?
        The strip – er, dance – scenes are, what can I say other than absolutely magnificent? Those guys, especially Channing Tatum, really have some awesome moves, even without the sexuality thing going on. In fact, they needn't have ever ripped their pants off to reveal scantily covered bottoms or gyrate in suggestive fashion to appeal to us women. The sheer talent involved in those dance routines must have taken months of practice to nail down.
        Like giddy teens, we three gals chatted about "Magic Mike" on the drive home. My daughters filled me in on the guys young enough to be my sons – which is most of the actors – while I talked about Matthew McConaughey, the only one remotely close to my age. It was nice to admire their perfectly chiseled, albeit unnaturally-enhanced bodies as works of art. Both girls agreed there were parts that were inappropriate for them and as such, they looked away during those scenes, which I admitted that I did as well.
        Aside from the more shallow aspects, we discussed the meaning of the film, a regular occurrence after watching a movie together. We all came to the same conclusion about the ending: It left way too many loose ends, which can only be tied up with a sequel. 
        So bring on part 2. They can call it "The Kid Makes Magic," or something along that line. Who's "The Kid?" You'll just have go see "Magic Mike" to find out. 
     

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