Hollywood’s newest ‘Rom-Com‘, Magic Mike, is set to open at theaters across North America this Friday (June 29th), and you can be sure you’ll see a large crowd of women and teen girls standing in line opening weekend.  The movie stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn and Joe Manganiello, and was created by directed Steven Soderbergh.  Magic Mike is based on real-life chronicles of Channing Tatum’s early years as a 19 year-old stripper in Florida, and take viewers on a backstage journey into the business side of the…ahh…business of male strippers.

Okay…so quick break here…this is not a plug for the movie, nor is this simply a ‘heads-up’ to parents that a movie like this is coming to a theater in your city/town.  No this is bigger than that.  This is about taking a look into the morality of our culture, or lack of it, and asking ourselves some point-blank questions.

As he usually is, Jonathan McKee was right on the cultural cue in addressing some pressing issues this movie raises. Because at first glance it seems like a feel-good movie (no pun intended!) with a cute story-line that exposes (again…no pun intended here…but it does have a zing!) the behind-the-scenes realm of the male stripping industry.  And it’s a pretty   dubious industry to say the least!

But what is a Christian to do about a film like Magic Mike?  Do we listen to reviews of the media world telling us it’s a cool date night flick with a compelling story to tell?  What kind of message is Soderbergh selling us in Magic Mike?  What does a movie like this say about morality, purity, character, and the value/self-worth of people?  I’m not suggesting you should go see this flick, but I am encouraging you (especially you parents out there) to know the cultural effects a movie like this can, and will, have on our youth.

There is a clear message being sent, and it’s one of individualismnarcissism, vanity and Hedonism…a pretty much anything goes philosophy for the greater good of the individual and their life pursuit.  Here’s a quick glance at McKee’s article…

Hollywood has always put an interesting spin on stripping. Movies like Strip Tease attempted to cast a compassionate understanding of the life of a stripper. Even the blockbusterIndependence Day featured a stripper in one of the supporting roles. Jasmine (Vivica Fox), the girlfriend of Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) survives the alien attack, rescues the first lady, and in getting to know each other, Jasmine proudly proclaims that she’s an exotic dancer. The first lady apologizes, embarrassed. “It’s OK,” Jasmine quickly retorts. “I’m not ashamed of what I do.” She rubs the head of her son. “Anything for my baby!”

So stripping is okay when you’re supporting a kid, right? Silly of all those pretty waitresses to be waiting tables when they could make so much more money on a pole! “

You can read the rest of the article, The Messy Morality of Stripping here.  So…what do YOU do with a movie like Magic Mike?

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