Congratulations, Florida. You did it.
You've committed to being one of the most emphatically stupid states in the country. You've put in the time, out-crazying formidable competitors like West Virginia and Texas for years. Through hard work, dedication, and nutso batshittery, you've climbed the ranks of ill repute, earning first the nickname "America's Wang," then a Fark tag, then a Twitter account devoted to your idiot locals.
And now you've really hit the big time. Michael Bay made an utterly ridiculous movie about how utterly ridiculous you are, and moviegoers nationwide paid $20 million to see it on the big screen because: Floriduh.
Admittedly, it was kind of a sucky weekend for movies all around; the only other wide release debut last weekend was The Big Wedding, which racked up four whole percentage points of approval on Rotten Tomatoes (as compared to Pain & Gain's 48%). The week-old Oblivion, featuring Tom Cruise making Tom Cruisey faces ranked in second place with $17.4 million.
But don't let that dull the shine of this moment, Florida. Those other stories? They're not real. They're fictional, things that people just made up in their heads.
A gang of Three Stooges-esque bodybuilders who carry out a kidnapping, extortion, and murder scheme in order to drive fancy cars and sleep with strippers, on the other hand? You can't make that up. Pain & Gain's based on a true story that appeared in New Times, after all. And now audiences across the country are spending two hours of their lives bathed in the neon, nonsensical light of you, Florida. You and your stupid, cheesy, superficial, reckless, batty, egomaniacal, forethought-free charms.
This is your time to shine, Florida. If you're going to be a joke, you might as well be the biggest, best, flashiest joke on the planet, complete with explosions and giant muscles and slow-motion chase scenes. Better soak it up while you can, because Iron Man 3's just a few short days away. After the killing that film makes at the box office, your 'roided-up redonkulousness will be just a ghost of a memory of a country's collective tropical hallucination.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
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