The $10,000 Problem In Magic Mike

Before I begin with this review of Magic Mike starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Alex Pettyfer, let me warn you that there will be spoilers. Will they ruin the movie for you? No. Because you’re not going to see the movie for the plot. You’re going to see it because you like the idea of watching this happen over and over again in a dark room.

So with that in mind, let’s proceed with my critique on the Citizen Kane of stripper films.

Let’s say your friend starts selling ecstasy and then proceeds to lose $10,000 worth of pills. Now let’s say he can’t pay back the guy who sold him the pills and they’re going to kill him. You’d help him out right? Because you’re not only his friend, but you’re also a human being and you don’t want to see him murdered by vengeful drug dealers.

That’s what happens in Magic Mike. Adam (Alex Pettyfer) starts dealing ectasy, loses the pills at a sorority party and essentially forces Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) to pay the drug dealers $10,000. Okay, he didn’t force him. But Mike felt obligated after hearing what happened.

Adam’s response to this amazingly generous life-saving offer?

“I’ll pay you back.”

That’s it. They sit at a picnic table, drinking beers and act like this is just a routine part of friendship. But it’s not. Friends don’t just loan their friends $10,000 all the time, as if it’s nothing. Especially when the movie made it clear that Magic Mike has only $13,000 saved up — and he planned to use that $13,000 to start his furniture business (yes, he’s a stripper with the heart of a constructor).  So now Magic Mike has $3000 to his name. And his name, in case you forgot, is Magic Mike.

So I think it’s fair to say Adam should have offered to do a little bit more for him. Like sell his brand new car to pay him back immediately. Or sell his kidney on the black market. Or even just lay out some kind of realistic payment plan. As in, you can have half of my $1 bills every night we strip together.  Really, anything. Because that’ s an insane gesture that’s treated very lightly. It’s just unrealistic.

And I think this financial movie mistake will weigh heavily on the Oscars committee. Otherwise, I would say they’re a shue-in for best picture. It’s that good and that touching. Of course by touching, I mean you want to reach out and touch them.

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    • Natalie Zutter

      When the drug dealers trash Mike’s house and break his table… Tears, man. Tears.

    • Nancy

      Shue-in isn’t right! I’d never seen it spelled in any way until now, and then I realized I didn’t know where the term came from so I just googled it. Apparently it comes from fixed horse races: the jockeys would hold back their mounts and “shoo in” a slow horse that they’d bet on. Yay learning lol

      • Jenni Maier

        But it expresses exactly what I want to say. Forgive me this once?

    • prettygirlww

      So, here’s my problem with the math: Channing Tatum’s couch and chairs are like 10+grand each. His walk-out-to-the-beach-in-10-steps two-story, super-nice apartment/house is at least $2,500 a month in Tampa Bay. Why does he only have $13k? I hate how in movies they upscale the living conditions of the lead character to make it more visually appealing, but totally unrealistic, then they deal in these piddly amounts of money. I guess Channing’s character could just be really bad at money management, spending $2,500/mo on an apartment and $700/mo on that car…then only able to save like $200/mo for his dreams…

      It’s like in Confessions of a Shopaholic when she’s like 15k in credit card debt…come on, that bag and those shoes cost 15k alone!

      • Jenni Maier

        Let it be known that as a Tampa native, there’s no way he could afford that house. Let alone the hurricane insurance. LET ALONE THE FACT THAT TAMPA IS NOT ON THE BEACH. That is all.

    • prettygirlww

      @Jenni – TOTALLY right about EVERYTHING. I used to live in St. Petersburg. I’m pretty sure they were in Ybor, or had really good sets, but most of those going over the bridge shots looked more east coast. If they shot the apartment scenes on the West Coast of Florida it was probably somewhere like Sanibel Island…or maybe Sarasota.

      Also, my memories of living there was that make strippers were totally a thing. Way more than any place else I’ve ever lived.

      And last also…remember Traxx on Thursday nights?

      • Jenni Maier

        I saw a few Ybor landmarks…I think. It was so blurry! And yes, proud to say that my hometown of Tampa is famous for its strippers! REPRESENT.

    • Johnny Bobo

      I think you missed the point.
      Alex Pettyfer’s character is supposed to be a narcissitic loser. His sister knows it. Channing Tatum figures it out during the scene when he’s told “I’ll pay you back”. Alex doesn’t realize what an ass he is. He doesn’t really care about other people. He’s all about himself, and the new glitzy “I’m a hot stripper” thing.

      So yes. When he says “I’ll pay you back” he really means “whatever dude… it’s ok cause we’re gonna hang out and have fun and shit”. And Channing realizes it, but feels like it’s his fault anyways.

      voila. The rest of the analysis on money is fair (except that a boat of ecstasy is not $10,000 either — ecstasy is only that expensive if you’re at the bottom end of the food chain — a user, not a dealer).

    • john32499sd

      I was thinking the same thing, why in 6 years working 3 jobs has he only saved 13k?
      And they are all cash jobs and he has bad credit. How did he get credit in the first place, and live on the beach, and drive a huge expensive truck? Why didn’t he just get a CC with prepaid from the bank? This is supposed to be a smart guy- but I think the undertone is that he is a loser, with a fake dream keeping him alive and now a fake cold girl in his life that represents something that he idealized.

      I guess we all want the happy ending, and not the pathetic one that is played out in the movie.

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