Apology in the Movies: Magic Mike (2012)


Magic Mike is a 2012 comedy directed by Steven Soderbergh, and starring Matthew McConaughey, and Channing Tatum.  The plot revolves around a male strip club owned by Dallas (McConaughey) and the characters that strip for him.  Adam (Alex Pettyfer) is a lost nineteen-year-old who enters the world of male stripping, guided by Mike Lane (Tatum), who has been in the business for six years.

Male strippers are featured in "Magic Mike."

Male strippers are featured in “Magic Mike.”

There’s a good apology scene toward the end of the movie.


The Mike Lane character falls in love with Adam’s protective older sister Brooke (Cody Horn). He had promised to take care of Adam and had failed. As he flails around for what to say,Mike comes up with these words:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I fucked it up. I didn’t mean to do that. I promised you I would take care of him and I didn’t, and I’m sorry about that.  

The apology is short and direct.

It’s rare for a cinematic apology (especially from a leading man) to be so specific about the offense being apologized for.

It’s also rare for a Hollywood apology from a hero to refrain from offering an extended rationalization or explanation. Notice the absence of a “but” statement, e.g., “I promised you I would take care of him, but things got really messed up . . .” The “I didn’t mean to do that line” is a small demerit on an otherwise sound apology.

I recommend the movie. The strip tease scenes are in good taste and a lot of fun.

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