Friday, March 20, 2015

Is It Too Soon To Talk About Magic Mike XXL?

Or rather, is it too late to talk about the first Magic Mike?
Let me start at the beginning. Flashback to my 21st birthday. Some friends were going to take me out to an all-male dance revue for the big day, but I got sick. Really sick. Too sick to try to look pretty. Too sick to let naked men snatch dollar bills from between my teeth or boobs.  

It wasn’t until years later I got the opportunity to witness a Chippendale-esque (I can make up words and butcher the spelling of those words if I want) show. I had mixed feelings about attending the performance because I have mixed feelings about female strippers being objectified and disrespected by wolf-whistling guys denigrating them by tossing dollar bills. But I thought the show would be good inspiration or experience for my writing. I hung way in the back and found the spectacle to be amusing, if not inspiring. 

Flash forward to Magic Mike. I went to see it with a girlfriend, the way it was meant to be seen. I’m not a huge Channing Tatum fan. I did enjoy watching the dancing and could have stood to see more (had a disagreement with a co-worker about whether he had a dance double). I liked his sense of humor. I wasn’t into The Kid, as they called him or any of the other male dancers except Big Dick Richie. I love Joe Manganiello of Trueblood fame. And I developed a girl crush on Olivia Munn (The Newsroom). She is so pretty, smart, funny and she had amazing chemistry with Tatum. Why she wasn’t the lead female character is a mystery. The part of Joanna was actually meatier, but should not have outshone Brooke, the female love interest (played by Cody Horn, whoever she is – do I sound bitter?) of Tatum. But Olivia Munn did shine bright, stealing the spotlight just like she stole every scene on The Newsroom. 

In the end, I was a little disappointed. Better stripping movies might be Dancing at the Blue Iguana, The Full Monty and Flashdance. What do you think? About Channing doing his own dancing, about Olivia being the female lead, anything about Joe? 

Check out my ode to all things male stipper-esque.




When TSA puts Juli Falzone on the no fly list, she is stuck at home for her thirtieth birthday. Until her doorbell rings. On her porch are two hot cops swearing out a warrant for her arrest. Are they a practical joke from her well-meaning friends, the best birthday gift ever or has her identity been stolen? Wanting answers and vindication, she lets them in. Can she talk her way out of the situation or will they make her come along peacefully?



“No, Juli, sweetie, I’ve got to go,” Dara said. “But I did send you a little gift. Enjoy.” She hung up.

Juli held the phone out, staring at it, bewildered by the abrupt brushoff. A phone call from Dara normally morphed into an entirely different version of The Neverending Story. Another knock brought her to her senses.

When she opened the door, the phone still in her hand, a summer breeze blew along her skin. Two police officers stood on her stoop, their features stone-faced serious. One wore a pair of those intimidating mirrored sunglasses despite the darkness.

The taller of the two officers said, “Ms. Falzone?”


“May we come in?” the shorter—if you could call just shy of six feet as shorter—blond man asked.

Her instincts said no, don’t let them in. But she hadn’t done anything wrong and they were peace officers. Maybe a crazed killer was loose in the area and they wanted to search her backyard, secure her locks and insure her safety. But after the harrowing day she’d had at the airport that morning, she was a quart low on trust, dubious of authority figures and testy in general.

Oh, what the hell.

Opening the door wider, Juli said, “Sure.” She looked past them to the curb. A streetlight shone bright on a sedan. No other cops appeared to be canvasing the neighborhood. The uniformed duo filed in, but she wasn’t in the mood to make a pot of coffee or answer a bunch of inane questions. She’d filled her quota for the day. After closing the door, she said, “What’s this about?”

“We have a warrant.” The taller, darker man whipped out a tri-folded piece of paper like he meant business.

She scoffed. “A warrant. For what exactly?” She put on her tough girl act, but had visions of spending life in prison. “I haven’t done anything wrong.” Ever. She decided someone must have stolen her identity. First the no-fly list, now this.

“Haven’t you?” the blond said.

Dara always encouraged Juli to take a walk on the wild side. But every potential one-night-stand struck her as a prospective serial killer or would-be stalker. She didn’t want to have regrets for living a boring life, but she’d seen too many friends, family members and co-workers make tragic mistakes in judgment. Unplanned pregnancies. Bad marriages. Worse divorces. Bankruptcies. Juli avoided all of the above.

“What’s the charge?” she demanded.




Tina Donahue said...

Great excerpt, Kelli! :)

LOVED Flashdance - one of my all time favs. Critics tore it apart, but I thought it was great.

Kelli Scott said...

I love FD too. The music, the dancing, the clothes!!!