Burlesque (with Christina Aguilera)
Prior to watching this movie, I was expecting a combination of COYOTE UGLY and GLITTER and thought, oh boy, here we go again…but once the movie started I didn’t care because this movie is: So. Much. Fun. From the power ballads, fabulous costumes and amazing dance numbers you will want to sing, shimmy and shake your way out of the theatre after watching Cher, Christina Aguilera and gang in BURLESQUE.
The movie starts with Ali (Aguilera), in small town Iowa who has had enough of her life there, hopping a bus to Los Angeles in search of a gig as a dancer, singer or both. Stumbling across the Burlesque Lounge one random evening she forces her way onto the payroll by picking up a tray and waiting tables. One thing leads to another and you guessed it, she is a dancer at the lip-sync only club.
The predictable plot line had a few fun twists and turns but the ensemble cast, dancing and musical numbers made the overworked storyline succeed. Stanley Tucci as Cher’s best friend and mini-mentor to bartender Jack is endearing and great. He has fabulous chemistry with Cher and the friendship feels real and believable. I love Stanley Tucci and am happy he is in this fun film. As the female nemesis in the story, brunette Kristen Bell is grand. When she ‘fight-dances’ her way on stage after the show starts without her you can feel the alpha female attitude vibrating off of her. She has some great facial expressions and I appreciate how she comes to terms with the new Burlesque format and is cordial to Aguilera in the end.
Other fun casting includes the bartender/friend/love-interest Cam Gigandet as Jack. Despite his acting feeling forced and his eyeliner ridiculous, the scene after attending a wedding is really cute and I felt the entire audience fall in love with him. Lastly, as the smug developer and male nemesis, Eric Dane’s performance is nothing more than fine. He is full of cheap one-liners and it was refreshing to hear Aguilera call him out just as I was in the middle of rolling my eyes at how lame they sounded.
Cher is an absolute powerhouse. She is the complete package in this film; she is vulnerable yet strong and her vocals gave me chills. Cher owned her role and it made me want to see more from her in future films to come. I don’t know why I am surprised at her outstanding performance – she was great in movies like MASK and MERMAIDS. Aguliera was surprising as an actress – some moments were very cheesy and I couldn’t tell if that was the script, direction or her acting (probably a combination of the three) but overall she held her own. Naturally her singing talents are beyond amazing and you will be wowed and won over when you hear her perform various numbers in the movie.
If you do not like musicals, music or dance based movies then you won’t want to sit in on this one. As for me, I plan on watching BURLESQUE more than once and am picking up a copy of the soundtrack to listen to until I can purchase the movie for my own collection. It is that much fun.