Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

What was the last film you saw that defied your expectations?

What was the last film you watched that was far better than you expected it to be? It happens all the time; you go into watching a film having very low expectations, perhaps because it stars someone you dislike or is directed by somebody with a bad track record, and then it turns into something really enjoyable , and you love it more than you could have possibly imagined. I ask this because recently I got up with the 2012 comedy drama Magic Mike.

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Now, despite getting some good reviews and having a great director in Steven Soderbergh, I had my doubts. The premise alone put me off; would I really enjoy a film about the trials and tribulations of male stripping? It may have worked with The Full Monty, but that was about a bunch of slobbish, inexperienced unemployed Brits. Magic Mike was about the professional kind, played by the chiselled Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Even with the reviews, I just couldn’t see myself liking a film I imagined to be sleazy and aimed squarely at women. How gobsmacked I was, then, when I watched it and discovered it to be a funny, touching and surprisingly gritty film about some realistic characters with a job they didn’t always enjoy and a life that exposed them to the darker, seedier underbelly of life. Sure, it was as gratuitous as you’d expect from a film about stripping, but Soderbergh is a really talented director and manages to take the focus away from the exposed torsos to give a good lesson in friendship and courage. I expected shallow and boring, but what I got was amusing and surprisingly emotional, and I now rank Magic Mike firmly as one of my highlights of 2012.

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So, the question, what films have you seen that defied your expectations? I’m interested to hear if you have any stories on films you expected to be flops, but turned out to be some of your favourites.

By Harry Ford

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