Wrestling with pigs at Magic Mike
August 20, 2012 | 11:00 am
(Updated: February 25, 2013 | 1:08 pm)
I aspired to be the kind of person who wouldn’t want to see Magic Mike. It seemed almost cliché to flock to theatres for excessive shots of hot leading actors’ bodies. But when a friend invited me to group viewing on opening night, my aspirations went out the window.
The first show times quickly sold out. As we stood in line for the next available showing, rows of women and gay men piled up behind us. We laughed at the fact that nearly-naked men could draw such sprawling crowds – ourselves included.
When we were finally let in, we strolled – unconcerned with seating since we had been at the front. But young girls zoomed past us, hollering at each other to hurry up. The chaos was a bit unsettling. I hadn’t felt energy like this since the time I witnessed women fighting at a department store’s moonlight madness sale.
By the time we reached the auditorium, it was sparsely populated, still with plenty of seating. We found what looked like five open seats together. But as we sat, the woman next to us had an objection.
“These two seats are saved,” she said. As we sauntered off, she continued, “and no, I am not going to re-arrange my seats for you guys!”
It seemed so random; we weren’t upset about moving on. A member of our group made a point to tell her we hadn’t asked her to rearrange – then things got explosive.
“Well all of you people keep trying to take my seats. What do you expect me to do? Do I have to take my shirt off and set it on the chair so people know they are taken?”
My mind raced for the perfect way to make her feel guilty for the ugly attitude. A group member beat me to the punch – telling her to please keep her shirt on as no one would want to see that. We were now guilty of playing some verbal dirty like she had.
We found another row, this time confirming the spaces were indeed open. The tables turned and it was us who had to continually tell people that our seats were reserved. Not wanting to look like the nasty woman from before, we tried desperately to turn down people with kindness. But kindness didn’t work for everyone as anger and frustration spilled out with more catty comments.
As the previews started, I decided to quickly go to the restroom so I wouldn’t urinate all over myself in excitement for male nudity. While I was gone, two overly tanned muscle men came by to ask about my seat and one other vacant one. Our female group member confirmed that mine was taken but suggested he and his friend could sit in front of each other by utilizing the other open seat.
“Forget it,” one guy said. “We’re taking these seats anyway.”
In a perhaps steroid-fueled state of aggression, he shoved his way into the row and sat down in my spot. Somewhat frightened, my friend now had to plead that the spot was reserved while I was merely in the bathroom. He finally caved and got up, uttering obscenities at her along the way. I was filled in on all the details when I got back, and couldn’t help but wonder, sourly, if the guy’s only reason for coming to Magic Mike was to pick up some handy new stripper moves in an otherwise-failing career as a male entertainer.
The movie’s plot line felt boring and predictable while the lure of naked man-ass began to wear thin. As the audience howled for more shots of Channing Tatum’s body, I pouted in my seat.
George Bernard Shaw once said “I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
The audience was the perfect storm of toxic, bitchy behavior for inane things. We’d wrestled with pigs indeed – and Magic Mike had been our trough. While its audience seemed satisfied, we felt dirtier than ever.