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Burlesque movie poster

Burlesque: Movie Review


Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Steven Antin
Starring: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cam Gigandet, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher
Released by: Sony Pictures

In Short: In her acting debut, diva Christina Aguilera sings her heart out and shakes her scantily clad body all over the place, but still cannot save this cookie-cutter musical from being a predictable tale with nothing to offer movie lovers of the musical genre.

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SINGING, DANCING AND SHIMMYING
“Burlesque” Strips Down

It’s probably obvious from the previews that the new musical “Burlesque” is a vehicle to launch singer Christina Aguilera’s acting career. As an added bonus, it also marks Cher’s return to the screen after a long hiatus, and it certainly proves that the two “diva” singers from two different generations can belt out a tune. But as a movie, “Burlesque” isn’t much more than a vehicle for those songs (and dances).

Set in present-day Hollywood, in a burlesque house on the Sunset Strip, the film suffers from an eminently predictable plot, with nary an original thought to bother leading lady Aguilera’s pretty little head. She plays Ally, an Iowa girl who’s come to the big city to make her way as a singer and dancer. When she wanders into the burlesque club owned by Tess (Cher), she is overwhelmed with longing to become one of the exotic dancers strutting across the stage.

Naturally, there are a few bumps along the way to her success, with a rival star (Kristen Bell) to eclipse, a handsome man to win over and the imminent financial ruin of the club to solve, but Ally sails though it all with merely a shake and a shimmy. And once everyone realizes that she’s got a world-class voice to go with her kewpie-doll good looks, well, the rest is history.

Christina Aguilera in Burlesque Stanley Tucci and Cher in Burlesque

Most of the second half of “Burlesque” involves one sexually charged song-and-dance routine after another, as Aguilera belts out tunes while shaking her booty, clad only in skimpy lingerie. That’s the main thrust of plot: how many looks she can have and genres of music she can sing.

Sure, there are some charming moments along the way between Cher and Stanley Tucci, who plays her second in command at the club; those two veterans know how to light up the screen. And “Twilight” star Cam Gigandet proves he’s a bit more than a pretty face, with a charming performance as Ally’s roommate and eventual love interest. But let’s face it, this film is all about Aguilera, and her acting chops leave something to be desired.

But if you are a hard-core fan of Aguilera’s singing talents and also love the idea of seeing her barely dressed and bumping and grinding for most of the show, “Burlesque” will be your idea of a hot ticket.

And by the way, Cher fans should take note that she only sings two songs in the entire movie. That’s a real shame.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters

 



PAR101410
(Updated: 11/23/10 CT)

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