I was late to the game to see Magic Mike XXL, not because I wasn’t interested (I enjoyed the first one immensely and was always going to see the second one) but just due to circumstances. And because I’m a film nerd, I usually read a fair amount of reviews and thought pieces after I’ve watched something. This piece, from one of my favorite critics, Tasha Robinson, is really well thought out, well written, enjoyable to read, and I fundamentally disagree on many of the points she makes. I don’t think the movie is trying to claim that it’s universally sexy, I think the fact that so few films cater to the female gaze (straight female-gay male gaze?) puts undue expectations on the Magic Mike films to be all things to all people who like looking at men.
But this article, in combination with the fact that everybody I talk to about the movie assumes I saw and enjoyed it because of the supposed sexiness (for the record I’m not attracted to any of the actors in the series and I think there is plenty to enjoy about them as films), made me start thinking about what my ideal sexy movie would be. Then I started wondering what it would look like to get an idea of several women (of any sexuality) and gay men’s ideal sexy movies. I bet that spectrum would be pretty damn interesting. So interesting that I’m kind of mad that I left academia and can’t turn it into a research project
So just for the hell of it, the hottest idea I can think of for a movie would be Tom Hardy and Ben Whishaw starring as rival librarians. I would somehow like Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Oscar Isaac, Eddie Redmayne, Dan Rad, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Joshua Jackson, Michael Ealy, Edgar Ramirez, Jason Momoa, Lee Pace, Nate Parker, and Rami Malek to get involved also. Maybe they could be library patrons. And Richard Madden would come in and say things in his real accent. Costuming would require a lot of three piece suits, and also a lot of oversized grandpa cardigans. I would like Jessica Chastain, Natalie Dormer, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Judi Dench to be there. There should be at least one really good sex scene, I don’t particularly care between who, but it should happen in the rare books room. And somehow the film should end with Ben and Tom covered in dirt from whatever happens to them in the final act, sitting in the library, having tea together.