Magic Mike: XXLlent.

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Maybe it’s a queer perspective.

Maybe it’s a genderqueer perspective.

Maybe it’s a leather perspective.

Maybe it’s a feminist perspective or maybe it’s just my perspective.

This is a great fucking movie.

I really hate movies with a “you go girl” theme.  It’s fucking condescending and I get that their heart’s in the right place and I appreciate that but it’s not what I want to hear.

I want to see a movie where the only men of any significance in the movie exist wholly for the female gaze. Who rate their worth by their worth to women, who don’t let women have power, but instead assume that women have the power in the first place.

“Queen” as a concept got set up early in the movie.

It’s a word that exists outside biological sex, outside the conformity or nonconformity of looks, and it isn’t about “girl,” it’s about “women,” or as Rome says, “grown up women,” who are powerful, beautiful not because they are “special” somehow but simply because they are.

They are, and therefore are worthy of worship and a beautiful, powerful sexy man knocking himself out for someone just to make her smile.

Starting the movie with the men competing to see who can be the best woman, the best “queen,” wasn’t an accident.

It sets a precedent, and it’s not about glass women on pedestals, it’s not about courtly love, it’s not about the removal of sexuality but a sudden, slamming, visceral closing of that courtly distance only at the end of the consummation it’s about her pleasure, her satisfaction, her self. Not his.

I might have had a moment where a glass slipper was a euphemism for vagina and it might have pissed me off except that Cinderella was the best possible southern belle looking for, frankly, a cock, and referred to in admiring jealousy after the fact as “beautiful, sweet woman,” which, frankly doesn’t make it sound anything like a conquest.

The love interest wasn’t anything like a usual love interest especially because she was in a “girl phase” and… thank god, hallelujah, they didn’t fuck that up.

At all.

Jada Pinkett Smith walked away with the movie and never took her clothes off. And the subcurrent of power exchange with she and Mike was hands down the hottest thing in the movie except possibly Matt Bomer in a sarong.

Yeah. You're welcome.

Yeah. You’re welcome.

Before you open your mouth to tell me that the elevation of women shouldn’t rely on the subjugation of men, let me just say this:

Shut the fuck up.

There is no subjugation where yield is generously, lovingly given. Acknowledgment and celebration of someone else’s power does not render anyone powerless. You got me?

Let me say it again. Just in case you didn’t hear me the first time.

If you think that men giving power to women weakens men, you are dead wrong.  Men never had the power to give women anything in the first place.

See what I’m saying?

Go read it again.  I’ll wait.

Ken (Matt Bomer, the guy in the sarong and fedora), and Andre (Danny Glover, beautifully done), discuss healing and it’s about the rift between men and women, about rifts between people in general. They talk about the gift of giving pleasure, not for reward but for its own sake. Smile. Not for me, not to perform for me or to be beautiful for me, but for you. Because I have made you happy, because I have given you pleasure.

This movie isn’t deep. It’s not meant to be deep but that doesn’t mean that message isn’t clearly and completely delivered.

The men don’t come out on top.

No one wins anything, unless you count those of us, many of us onscreen and in the audience watching, who really really enjoyed watching a handful of guys strip off their clothes and dance.

For us.

bomer

Matt Bomer. One more time. Oh. God.

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