Sunday night movies

Our guests last Sunday brought copies of Magic Mike and That’s My Boy. After dinner, we all lounged around and watched. I could barely tolerate Magic Mike but I finished it. Fifteen minutes into That’s My Boy, I stood up and started washing dirty drinking glasses. Speedy asked why I was washing the glasses (dishwashing is his chore) and I said I’d rather wash them than torture myself with that hellish film.

But let me start with Magic Mike. I’ve seen the trailer, Matthew McConaughey’s exaggerated muscles made my eyes roll in boredom but, hey, it’s a Steven Soderbergh film so I was willing to give it a go. Everyone started chatting about how well Channing Tatum danced, I didn’t even know the guy could dance (I only saw him in G.I. Joe and Dear John, and he danced in neither), Sam and Alex said he was in Step Up (which I haven’t seen) then someone mentioned that he was a stripper before he was an actor. Whoa.

So, okay, I watched. Magic Mike is a story about male strippers and Channing Tatum is a good dancer. But that was about the only part of the movie that was good. Oh, and Olivia Munn who breathed life into a minor character that would have probably gone unremembered, if not unnoticed, were it not for Munn’s persona that resonated through the screen.

And the rest of the film? The story was shallow (hell knows, it could have been more), the characters were not explored and there was so much stereotyping that seemed to me to border on some moralistic lecture. Strippers equals drugs equals doom. Plus… couldn’t they have gotten someone other than Matthew McConaughey? In fact, couldn’t they have gotten someone else to play the role of leading-lady Brooke (one of the stripper’s older sister) other than that Cody Horn? Heck, Cody Horn as Brooke… I don’t remember seeing a more colorless character nor a more colorless actress trying to portray her. She was just too terrible and that is being kind.

Still, I sat through the entire film. Which means it was tolerable. Barely. But still tolerable. A word I can’t use when describing That’s My Boy or, at least, the first fifteen minutes of it which were all I could manage without throwing up. Even before the fifteen minutes were up, I found myself asking — quite rhetorically and addressing no one in particular — what stupid producer could be so stupid as to put together a stupid film like that? My brother-in-law, Buddy, said Adam Sandler himself — the star of the film.

That’s My Boy opens with a 14-year-old boy, Donny, who has an affair with his 22-year-old teacher which lands her in prison where she gives birth to their son. The 14-year-old father becomes an overnight celebrity because he was idolized by a society that glorified 14-year-olds who could sexually satisfy a 22-year-old woman. Donny names his son Han Solo, eventually loses contact with him and the son changes his name. On the day Han meets his fiancee’s family, his father, now a has-been re-enters his life. That was all I could manage. What happened after that, I didn’t give a hoot.

It’s not the sexual tone of the film (or, at least, the first part of it) that I object to. I’ve seen a lot of sexuality in films, some good and others bad, but nothing quite as crass and as low. Adam Sandler didn’t use to be this tacky. The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Bedtime Stories were at least entertaining enough if only to pass the time. How he could have sunk to the depths of depravity called That’s My Boy, I haven’t got a clue. I’ve spent a lot of good hours watching bad movies but, heck, I always said we all have to see bad movies sometimes to truly appreciate the good ones. In short, no regrets. But, oh boy, do I regret the fifteen minutes I spent watching That’s My Boy. I should have walked out after the first five minutes. Seriously.

  • richard

    ….that’s 15 minutes you’ll never get back

    Sandler movies been a hit and miss affairt lately

    if you and your brood don’t mind then We Are Legion or The Silent War may do……a bit serious for Sunday night next day back to the grind viewing so you may want to to have The Campaign handy

  • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

    That’s three titles! Thanks!

    • ms

      I can’t stand Adam Sandler either. Come to think of it, the last movie the hubby and I watched was Bourne Legacy and only because we wanted to see the Manila scenes. Other than that, I am happy with cable.

      • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

        The last movie we daw was months before Bourne Legacy and we’re just fine hehehehe

  • http://whatmommylikes.wordpress.com pinayhekmi

    Watch Skyfall! I’m not sure if I like it yet. May need a rewatch but I think it is well done.

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      I have! I loved it. Must write about it soon. :)

  • http://saltforvanilla.wordpress.com Cath

    Ah, I haven’t watched films on movie theaters for at least 2 years! Just like ms I’m also happy with cable, specially now that RED channel is available. :) That’s my Boy was glorified much a few months back but I’ve forgotten about it until you talked about it here.

    Anyways, I hope the rest of the night was great for you and your guests.

    • Jake

      Hi Connie,
      I like your blog.
      I also saw the movie Magic Mike. I was hesitant to watch it at first because so many reviews were saying how shallow the movie was or how hot Channing Tatum was.
      Anyway, I decided to watch the movie because I saw Channing being interviewed on TV talking about his pre-Hollywood life and yes he was a male stripper in Florida. He said most people think strippers are dummies but really not all are …
      I encourage you to watch the movie again and listen to the script from a different angle. Mike or Channing is really telling his story. That scene near the end when Magic Mike looks at his fellow strippers with an introspective near-tears facial expression spoke volumes of a person who is searching for meaning.
      I am a part-time filmmaker myself. It is easy to trash the movie because of the “stripper scenes”. But if you try to strip away those girl-screaming shots, the film actually delivers something deeper. That all of us, you and me included, are trying to find meaning in our lives. But Magic Mike was filmed to show more or less the real scenario. Unlike other critic-award winning films which pretend to be serious in the hopes that they will win an Oscar.
      Jake

      • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

        If you would re-read the first part of the 4th paragraph, you’ll see that I was looking exactly for the substance beyond the muscles and didn’t find it.

        A movie should stand on its own. If Tatum Channing was telling his story, he should have told that, nuances and all, in the film itself and not in an interview. :)

        • JaKE

          Hi Connie

          There are a lot of nuances and that is what made Magic Mike a good movie but nuances are only perceived if you can or are willing to.

          Most people saw the stripping and the muscle only. It’s like looking at a bouquet – you see the buds but not the leaves.

          But like any movie or any meal for that matter – we all have our own take. Other people I spoke with who saw the movie also saw Magic Mike as a movie with far more meaning than the stripping.

          Would you say Skyfall has substance?

          Jake

          • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

            Jake, anyone can see what he wants to see. Fans of Cody Horn will even perceive acting talent in that department. People even see images of the Virgin Mary when they stare too hard and too long at the sun.

            Nuance? The Matrix has nuance. Lots of it. That’s my kind of substance. Skyfall has more substance than The Man With The Golden Gun, definitely.