Movie Review: “Burlesque”

Saturday afternoon I got a chance to catch a showing of Burlesque, which stars Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, and Eric Dane. From the previews & commercials it seemed like it would be an entertaining film.

Here’s the synopsis:

Ali is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess, the club’s proprietor and headliner. Burlesque’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer, finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer, and garners the affection of Jack, a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager and gender-bending host, Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage. Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though not before a charismatic entrepreneur arrives with an enticing proposal.

First off, let me say, this movie is entertaining, especially the musical numbers. The dancing, and singing by Christina and Cher, is phenomenal. This film almost feels like a musical, because there are so many musical numbers in the film.

Christina Aguilera is best when she’s doing what she’s known for – singing & dancing. She does a decent acting job, but unfortunately she doesn’t have the best script to work with, so we can’t really see what she’s made of in the acting department. Cher does a great job as well. I love Stanley Tucci & he continues to charm the audience as Cher’s right-hand man, though his character wasn’t developed at all. Eric Dane basically just serves as eye candy in this film – we know he’s supposed to serve a purpose, but his character is purely one-dimensional. Kristen Bell (from Veronica Mars & Forgetting Sarah Marshall) plays Christina’s rival at the club, and she’s another character that should have been more developed. I did like her performance, though with the brown hair she has in the  movie, I couldn’t remember who she was! I just knew she was familiar; it wasn’t until the credits that I realized who she was.  The guy who plays Christina’s love interest is cute, and overall does a passable acting job. I was surprised to see Terrance J from “106 & Park” in this film, he plays the DJ for the club.

The most disappointing part of this film was the script & plot. This film has several clichéd stories going on: the poor country girl who escapes to the big city to make it big; the club owner who will fight tooth & nail to save their business; and the guy who likes the girl but is too afraid to make a move on her. Some of the dialogue was just way too corny & hackneyed to be believable. And of course, at the end, all the storylines are solved satisfactorily & everyone rides off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I wanna know why Hollywood thinks every movie should end with a happy ending; life doesn’t really work that way. I’d love to see more movies that are just as messy as real life. Anyway, perhaps with better writing or better plot points this would have been a better film.

Overall, this movie is good for a matinée, or to catch when it comes to Redbox. I loved the musical numbers, but the dialogue & plot left a lot to be desired.

Have you seen Burlesque? What did you think?