Synopsis: A small town girl moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a singer.
Release Date: November 24, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Musical, Drama
Ali is a small town girl from Iowa, who can sing with such powerful intensity she could stop anything or anyone in their tracks. Her decision to leave her nowhere town behind and head for the bright lights of Hollywood is a common story with all of the makings for a cliche movie. Burlesque does have all of the essential elements to make it fall into the cliches but it also has something that sets it apart: it’s a musical that makes it incredibly hard to not want to stand up in the theater and start shaking your backside, shimmy your chest, and get in touch with your inner sexy vixen.
When Ali stumbles upon the club Burlesque she is as green as one may be to the underground enchanting world of the burlesque performer. She watches the dancers on stage and is immediately intoxicated by the atmosphere of the entire club and determined to become one of the dancers in the show. With a little Hollywood magic she gets a job at the club, as a waitress. The Diva who runs the show, Tess (Cher), is not taken in by her at first but when a technical glitch caused by the resident bad girl, Nikki (Kristen Bell), silences the music Ali has her chance to show the crowd just what she can do, without lip synching. All focus is on Ali as she sings like her life depends on it. Watching the dancers perform up to this point has been entertaining, and they have put on a great show, but it is Ali that is a true star. This is also the point where things begin to get really good. The movie becomes a full blown song and dance act above all else with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure; for what would a musical be if there was not romance. Then again, there must also be the realization that not everything is as glamorous as the performances on stage. Tess’ club is in trouble. She has only weeks to pay the bank or she loses everything and although Ali is filling the house with her talent it is not enough to save Burlesque. Fear not, there is always a solution, and sometimes it comes out of thin air.
Burlesque is the greatest of guilty pleasures. It is not structured perfectly for a musical as not every song relates back to the character or necessarily moves the story along but it is a great deal of fun. The lack of polish is quite clear in both the performances by Aguilera and Cher (surprisingly) but when the direction is present they carry their roles adequately. But if you love to watch song and dance numbers. Crave to feel the music ripple through your body until you cannot help but have it control you, then Burlesque is perfect. It may not have a great deal of substance beneath the surface but what you see and experience is enough to keep the smile on your face and awaken the desire to put on your dancing shoes.
Christina Aguilera (Ali) can sing and dance – we know this. Cher (Tess) has been a Star for as long as anyone can remember and her name is synonymous with Diva-esque talent and putting on a show you will never forget. Although Cher only has a couple numbers in the film she proves in a small amount of time that she still has the talent and the goods to make your eyes not leave her for a second. The movie belongs though to Aguilera’a talents. Her acting skills may need some work, but her singing and dancing skills are beyond expectations and downright phenomenal. Tess comments that she “pulls focus” from the audience. She could not be anymore correct. It is hard to think about anything else, even the plot itself, when Aguilera performs as Ali. She is an intoxicating performer that appears to be made for the burlesque theater show. Her talents have great accompaniment though in the other dancers, including Kristen Bell (Nikki) and Julianne Hough (Georgia). Even Alan Cumming (Alexis) has a bit of fun up on the stage. Every piece of the numbers is choreographed perfectly and everyone gives their absolute all to make each one memorable. Taken out of the context of the story they are sublime, within the narrative it would have been nice to get more emotion out of them for where the story is headed. But regardless, my focus never left the stage.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Steve Antin
- Producer(s): Steve Antin
- Screenwriter(s): Cher (Tess)Christina Aguilera (Ali)Eric Dane (Marcus)
- Story: Julianne Hough (Georgia)
- Cast: Alan Cumming (Alexis)Peter Gallagher (Vince)Kristen Bell (Nikki) Stanley Tucci (Sean)Virginia KatzBojan BazelliJon Gary Steele
- Cinematographer: Christophe Beck
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA