[Editor's note: We're toying with a new multi-author series about our experiences at the movie theater. We'll let Beau kick it off from the West Coast with Magic Mike.]
I blame Channing Tatum’s ass.
The date had been going along fine. He wasn’t terribly cute, but he was attractive. That’s a very important distinction. We both shared a similar affinity for film, both were heavily involved in productions in and outside of college. (He adored Soderbergh, I’m a Bergman and Ashby kind of guy. Come to think of it, I wonder what they thought of each other. Ashby being an addiction-ridden humanist hippie, Bergman being the son of a preacher man who’d engaged in more onscreen love affairs than Warren Beatty.) We’d already argued about Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, laughed heartily at the Pitch Perfect trailer, my reservations slowly subsiding, trying to remind myself to be open to the experience. (The Schizo Gay Cupid on dates is so frustrating.)
And then, the goddamn film started...
Engaging in a homo fantasy that doubled over as a surprisingly strong film (!), I found myself forgetting that I was on a semi-date. Attention was focused on the successes and failures of Tatum’s Mike, the arrogant absent-mindedness of Pettyfer, the wet blanket of Cody Horn and the organic fluidity of her beautiful, subtly heated exchange with Olivia Munn (playing Soderbergh’s Vera Farmiga surrogate - their characters in this and Up in the Air, respectively, could be celluloid blood relatives) you got wrapped up in the fantastical nature of it all. It made the fact that you were on a date with someone who didn’t wow you all the more frustrating; it’s a fantasy, dude. Magic Mike isn’t just chilling on a street corner waiting for you.
But, therein lies the damnable double-edged sword of good cinema. It can bring you into a beautiful fantasy, that makes you question your own reality.
The poor guy wasn’t prepared, and neither was I. We politely shook hands as we parted ways, I texted my girlfriend thanking her for introducing us, and suggesting that we may in the future become good film buds instead. The fluttering wasn’t there.
It’s so fucking hard to meet good men. It’s even harder when you find what you think may be one and hold out, because you still believe there’s a Magic Mike hanging around. I mean, Jesus, it’s what everyone else does. Right?
...maybe I should
Move to Florida
Become a stripper
Get a six pack (actually, not a bad idea)
Enjoy the ride.