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Channing Tatum stars as Mike, a male stripper who is a favourite with the ladies.
The film is inspired by a true story and the narrative follows Mike as he introduces a young man (Alex Pettyfer) to the carnal world of stripping, partying, and making easy money.
For fans of late night entertainment, narratives that challenge societal perspectives, or just nudity on screen, here are some movies similar to Magic Mike.
The easiest film to compare to Magic Mike is Verhoeven’s (Total Recall, RoboCop) Showgirls. It details the lives of a collection of female strippers in Las Vegas.
Just as candid as Magic Mike, Showgirls however, wasn’t received quite as well by critics. This may be indicative of the different audiences that both films cater to.
Definitely with the male gaze in mind, Showgirls is vapid entertainment but does show a lot of skin. It’s worth pointing out that Magic Mike is a smarter, slicker, exploration of the stripping world and perhaps also suggests that a female audience may require more intelligence from its entertainment.
Set in 1977, Boogie Nights is Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematic exploration of the world of pornography.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Dirk Diggler, a young man who’s naturally well-endowed, making him a prime candidate for the burgeoning adult film market.
Immediate, visceral, and touching, this character-led narrative is unflinching in its account of adult desires, the porn industry, and the impact of sex for money on the individual.
This may seem like an unusual choice but if we consider sexual objectification in cinema as our theme, then Fight Club stands just as tall as Magic Mike in this category. Desire is a key concern in Fight Club, whether it is sex, furniture, or consumerism.
Fincher’s movie scathingly dissects contemporary existence and it does so with an often topless Brad Pitt. It’s certainly a film about objectification and in a manner similar to Magic Mike it has many choreographed sequences of men in various stages of undress.
If it were ladies instead of men beating each other up so pornographically, Fight Club would definitely be considered a sexual fantasy. Want more? Here’s a selection of movies like Fight Club.
This is a film that documents a young girls descent into the adult film industry in San Francisco. About Cherry is a film that forces us to consider the impact of pornography on the porn stars themselves.
Immediate, dark, and raising pertinent questions about the nature of desire, About Cherry is a movie that makes us think about our own choices.
The above films have stuck quite closely to the idea of objectification in cinema. There are both male and female narratives considered in the films, but let’s look at some other movies like Magic Mike, perhaps slightly different in tone but that delve into the sexual side of the human psyche.
Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Secretary explores sadomasochism in the work place.
Candid, illuminating, and provocative, Blue is the Warmest Colour centres around a heady sexual connection between two women and it accurately captures the deep, emotional bonds that occur.
Von Trier’s deliberately shocking film attempts to find the line between sexual objectification and necessary narrative tropes in it depiction of a woman overcome with desire.
We live in a world that is increasingly sex orientated and adverts on TV often portray sexualised femininity to sell products. Magic Mike is refreshing in its depiction of male sexuality with more of a slant towards female audience members.
However, there are plenty of films mentioned above that challenge the traditional male gaze and show that human sexuality is vibrant, diverse, and not easily defined.
In terms of narrative cinema, I would recommend Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. It is a highly influential film and it challenged social conventions and paved the way for more discussions in cinematic form regarding gender, sexuality, and the way that we depict our most base desires.
What do you think? Is cinema allowing us to be more sexually liberated? Or is it just closer to pornography than ever before?
Tell me in the comments below.