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When I first came to understand that with his latest film, “Magic Mike,” director Steven Soderbergh was embarking on a journey to capture the essence of Channing Tatum’s real life experience as a male stripper in Florida, I was, quite simply, delighted. The whole endeavor sounded just absurd enough to be, well, magically delicious.
I happen to be a huge fan of the bizarre bits of life that exist all around us and I enjoy how Soderbergh finds the elements of the extraordinary, unique and strange that are real and present and builds films around them. He did so with MMA fighter Gina Carano in “Haywire” and with porn star Sasha Grey in “The Girlfriend Experiment” quite recently.
When he decided to move forward with a film that explored the singular world of male stripping I believe I was envisioning whatever the Steven Soderbergh version of a broad comedy is, strange and expansive encounters between eccentric and shirtless men. The film follows Tatum's titular character as he guides and mentors an upstart (Alex Pettyfer, who viewers may or may not know from such offerings as “I Am Number Four” and “Beastly”) through the go-go world of bachelorette parties and, well…more bachelorette parties, we imagine.
But in fact, Soderbergh's latest foray into art imitating life, artistically, looks to be his first try at the romantic comedy. Surprising, but also intriguing. There are so few successes in the genre at present that I’d like to see what sort of dish Soderbergh can bring to this particular dinner table.
In other news, co-star Matthew McConaughey has finally found a role where his character is actually meant to have his shirt off. Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Cody Horn and Olivia Munn co-star.
Take a look at the trailer via Apple below.
For year-round entertainment news and commentary follow @JRothC on Twitter.
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