‘Burlesque‘ is one of those movies that could have gone horribly wrong having a first time feature director (Steve Antin) and first time on screen singer Christina Aguilera, but all the elements fell perfectly in place for this feel good musical that actually makes you smile. It’s also great seeing Cher back up on the big screen doing what she does best, being the larger than life Cher. Burlesque takes the old style Hollywood story of a young nyph coming to the city looking for her big break and finding a lot of pitfalls along the way. Aguilera takes this role and makes it her own story. It’s one that she knows well since she’s been one of the more underrated pop singers out there, and with Burlesque, she gets to reinvent herself as a pretty good actress.
Christina Aguilera is in virtually every scene but it never feels like she’s overstayed her welcome and Cher popping in when it matters, is always welcome anytime in this wonderful guilty pleasure. Antin is very smart to not work to hard with the story that’s been told thousands of times in films and focuses on the performers which is what really matters in a film like this. He walks this fine line wonderfully and we hope he keeps making movies like this that are the perfect eye and ear candy to appeal to all people, and, of course, the Cher fans. Stanley Tucci plays the role that he’s been built to do, the gay, sharp witted mentor as he did in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ among others.
Here’s the basic storyline of Burlesque. The Burlesque Lounge has its best days behind it. Tess, a retired dancer and owner of the venue, struggles to keep the aging theater alive, facing all kinds of financial and artistic challenges. With the Lounge’s troupe members becoming increasingly distracted by personal problems and a threat coming from a wealthy businessman’s quest to buy the spot from Tess, the good fortune seems to have abandoned the club altogether. Meanwhile, the life of Ali, a small-town girl from Iowa, is about to change dramatically. Hired by Tess as a waitress at the Lounge, Ali escapes a hollow past and quickly falls in love with the art of burlesque. Backed by newfound friends amongst the theater’s crew, she manages to fulfill her dreams of being on stage herself. Things take a dramatic turn though when Ali’s big voice makes her become the main attraction of the revue.
Cher plays the role of wizened matron trying hard to hold on to the past and figuring out how to keep moving with the times and Aguilera plays wide eyed ingénue with gusto and the two make for a very memorable film that Screen Gems will be happy they acquired. Once again, Clint Culpepper has been picking some winning films. Burlesque will appeal to gay fans of Cher along with women and men who’ll love the Aguilera eye candy.
Overall Rating: B+. Burlesque isn’t a classic musical, but it’s one of those high camp ones that most people will discover now that it’s been sitting on the blu-ray/dvd shelves for some time. Any gay Cher fan will revel in the over the top antics of the film which only makes it more fun to watch.
Source by W. C. Johnson