February 9, 2011
We have all seen this story before. Small town girl goes into the big city to seek better fortune. She also meets the man of her dreams. She gets a good job in this small business. The business is about to be lost due to a real estate developer. But our heroine saves the day, and gets her man! "Burlesque" follows this routine cliché to the T!
Ali (Christina Aguilera in her film debut) is from Iowa. She goes to LA and gets entranced by a Burlesque joint owned by Tess (Cher). Tess is problematic because she owes money to her ex-husband (Peter Gallagher) and a real estate developer (Eric Dane) wants her to sell her place to him. Meanwhile, Ali graduates from waitress to back-up dancer to star because of her awesome singing talent. Her friendship with bartender Jack (Cam Gigandet) also graduates from friendship to love. All so predictable! Nothing really to spoil, all the way up to the happy ending.
This thin story gets stretched to two hours because of numerous burlesque song and dance numbers. I am not really too fond of this type of raunchy stage entertainment. Christina Aguilera can really sing though. I have seen a concert of hers once, and she had donned the same costumes and done the same burlesque-type routines already before. Her acting was too shrill and unrealistic. I was not really rooting for her because she came across as cocky and annoying. I did not find any of her songs memorable.
I have to admit that I admire Cher and her voice. My favorite song number from the movie was by Cher, a breathtaking "You Have Not Seen The Last of Me Yet." The way it was introduced was a bit forced, but the song is very good. It won the Golden Globe for Best Song, but I wonder why it was not even nominated for an Oscar. She sort of plays herself here, as Tess is an aging star, like her. She did not really need to do any acting.
This is not as bad as "Glitter" by any measure. But I suspect it would not really appeal too much to the general public, except for fans of Cher and Christina Aguilera. I simply felt like a series of burlesque song and dance numbers strung together by the thinnest of plot lines.