Reading Manohla Dargis in Paris: a Review of “Magic Mike”

It is starting to get dark.  Self is in Bonnie’s living room, on her red couch, reading the International Herald Tribune.  In the building directly across the street are banks of picture windows, some of which are lighted, all of which have little ironwork balconies.

So this is what she’s spent the last 10 minutes reading:  Manohla Dargis’ review of “Magic Mike,” the beefcake movie of all beefcake movies.

Before self left Scotland, she happened to read a Guardian story on Matthew McConaughey (“From Himbo to Highbrow”).  Oh my goodness, there was one shot of McConaughey taken from a scene in “Magic Mike,” and —  let’s just say self was never a Matthew McConaughey fan (though she did like one recent movie, “The Lincoln Lawyer”) but that shot was absolutely fabulous.  McConaughey’s rippling abs are on full display; his right hand is raised to the ceiling, two fingers fully extended.  He’s wearing a cowboy hat.  My God, self thought, if McConaughey looks as good in that movie as he does in this picture, self is rushing out to catch a screening, the minute she gets back to California.

And, wow, can you believe it?  Channing Tatum, who Entertainment Weekly once referred to as “an animate Bologna column” was the movie’s co-producer.  Self thinks the guy’s career does have legs.

The Manohla Dargis review is accompanied by a photograph of Tatum and his co-star, Alex Pettyfer.  The picture is a nice picture, of course.  Tatum is bending forward, caught in the middle of delivering an admonition or advice to the other fellow.  Until she saw that picture, self had no idea who this Alex Pettyfer was.  But, boy, does he ever outstage Tatum in the “hotness” category, at least he does in that picture.

Here are a pair of excerpts from the Dargis review:

  • ” . . .  few directors can sell the goods —  whether it’s Che in Cuba or Mike in a thong — as shrewdly as Mr. Soderbergh.  A restive talent who toggles between big-studio and low-budget work, he has a genius for wrapping tricky ideas, like capitalism and its discontents, into commercial packages.  Never before has he put them into cheek-baring chaps.”
  • “Those cheeks, smooth as a hairless Chihuahua, will receive considerable attention, as will the rippling muscles . . .  “

The owner of the club is called Dallas, and he’s played by McConaughey, who Dargis says gives a “spectacular, amusingly sleazed-out” performance.

Dear blog readers, the iconic beef-cake shot of a few years ago was of Tom Hardy, in a still from a scene in “Inception.” Hardy is wearing a kind of pink-ish, tailored shirt, and he looks like he’s contemplating the odds —  no other actor can pull off that kind of look, not even Michael Fassbender.

Self used to make fun of McConaughey because he was always in People Magazine with his shirt off.  But in the shot in the Guardian, it’s not McConaughey’s chest we’re riveted to, it’s his hand.

And self is so grateful to Dargis for finding a way to describe male cheeks without sounding prurient.  “Smooth as a hairless Chihuahua!”  That’s priceless!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Jean Vengua said,

    July 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm


    You should post this (your URL) on WordPress Post’s Daily Photo Challenge (it’s not a contest, just a share thing), because their theme for this week is “Fleeting Moment.” You’ll get a lot of readers…

    jean v

  2. May 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I delight in, lead to I found just what I was having a look for.

    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye

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