“The Only God Worth Believing in…

sends men in thongs when you need them.”

Yes, that’s a line from Magic Mike XXL. If you’re waiting for a review of Magic Mike XXL before deciding whether or not to go see it, it’s probably not your type of movie. Muscular, gyrating, pulsating, bumping, grinding men in various states of undress. Do you need to know more?

I was really impressed by the movie’s treatment of women. One of the best scenes was when Joe Mangeniello, playing the subtly named Big Dick Richie, is having a crisis of confidence in his ability while en route to a stripper convention. They pull into a gas station with a convenience store attached. Behind the counter is a dour looking young woman. The other dancers challenge him to put a smile on her face. She is not conventionally attractive, and looks even worse with the great big frown. I was bracing myself for the jokes at her expense, jokes that never came. Furthermore, there are several strong female characters. It was very strange to realize that while it was not what anyone would call a great movie, it had some of most realistic portrayals of women I’ve seen on screen.

That left me feeling a little bit puzzled.

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