Movie Review: Burlesque (2010)

Posted: November 26, 2011 in Drama

Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small town waitress from Iowa, who quits her job, and heads out for bright lights and fame in Los Angeles.  After a day of searching for a job, she finds the Burlesque club, marches in and demands a job.   Club owner Tess (Cher) is in financial trouble, but has already turned down an offer from developer Marcus (Eric Dane) for half a million dollars to buy the club.  Tess also turns Ali down for a singer/dancer job, but fast friend, Jack (Cam Gigandet) offers her a waitressing job and his apartment. Dancer Georgia (Julianne Hough) gets pregnant, and Tess needs a replacement.  Ali auditions, and dances well enough to take over Georgia’s spot. When Ali gets the spotlight to herself, rival dancer Nikki (Kristen Bell) sabotages the song by shutting off the music track that the dancers lip-synch to.  At this point Ali belts out the song using her own voice, and knocks everyone for a loop.  Tess creates a new show around her, Marcus drops former girlfriend Nikki, and starts flirting with Ali.  Does Ali choose Marcus who can help her career, or Jack who she really loves?  Is Tess going to take Marcus offer for the club, or is there another answer?

The whole movie is a cliché.  Small town farm girl goes to LA to make it big with no money and just talent to buoy her.  Even the cliché seems hard to believe.  Ali searches for a job for literally a day and magically finds a job and an apartment and a friend, which strains credulity. The writers inexplicably focus on Aguillera’s dancing in the first half hour of the film and not her singing.  Ali actually beats out Georgia, played by Julianne Hough, an actual dancer.  Aguilera is not a better dancer than a professional dancer.  The romance between Aguilera and Cam Gigandet is totally flat, there is no chemistry between the two, and clichés abound about the relationship.  Stanley Tucci tells Cam, that girls like Aguilera are “nice on the inside too and “don’t stay available forever.”  Aguilera is actually not the problem, in fact she holds whatever meager plot there is together.  Cher is a disappointment, both in acting and singing, and the makeup scene between her and Aguilera is totally ridiculous.  The drunk Nikki is not much of a rival, Tucci as the ubiquitous gay character adds nothing.  The denouement of the movie is silly and tacked on.    Finally, and most obviously, there’s a problem inherent with a pg-13 movie named Burlesque.

Burlesque:  Naked Stupidity

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