• Otis Young, Jack Nicholson, and Randy Quaid visit an all-American shithole.

Heeding my own advice, this weekend I revisited Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail. It was a good choice. Though it takes place in winter, it’s an ideal summer movie—breezy, charming, and coolly antiauthoritarian. Steven Soderbergh says it he modeled the tone of Magic Mike after it, and the film’s influence can be felt in Mike’s loose pacing and casual vulgarity. The sailors of Detail indeed curse like sailors, though Ashby’s stance towards them is so relaxed that none of the language really offends: one quickly accepts the language as part of their lifestyle. In short order, it becomes central to the film’s portrait of men wasting time as if it were their God-granted right to do so.