Welcome to Screen Gems, Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.
The Aphrodisiac: Magic Mike
Why did it take Hollywood so long to figure out that audiences enjoy seeing naked men as much as naked women? In 2012, they finally cracked the cipher. Magic Mike takes some of Tinseltown’s best-looking men–Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello, to name a few–and casts them as a group of strippers with big dreams. Loosely based on Tatum’s own humble beginnings as a stripper, Magic Mike explores the hedonistic crowd at Xquisite, an all-male strip club in Tampa. Much like Hustlers would later do for women, Magic Mike exalts the hard-working and wild life of an exotic dancer, even as it condemns the corrupt businesses that often support them. Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh gets excellent performances out of his cast, and the dance sequences have all the glitz and energy of a musical production number. Witty, gritty and always flirtatious, we think it’s a fine way to spend a couple hours. We also have a few suggestions for after…but we’ll leave that to the imagination.