Burlesque

Despite being a rather clichéd musical, Burlesque was far from being one of the worst I’ve ever seen.  It was directed by Steven Antin and starred Christina Aguilera as the lead character, Ali Rose.  Likewise, it starred Cher as the Burlesque clubs owner (Jack) with Stanley Tucci as her gay best friend and assistant (Sean).  In addition the casts also featured Cam Gigandet and Eric Dane as Ali’s two love interests, with the rest of the cast rounded out by Julianne Hough, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher, and Diana Agron.

That being said, the movie followed the clichés of similar movies.  It was about a small town girl who went to the city in search of fame.  But once there, she had trouble finding any auditions—until she walked in on a burlesque club.  In doing so, she was able to get herself hired as a waitress.  And later on, she would gain an audition where she made it through by the skin of her teeth.  She eventually became the star of the show, however.  Meanwhile, she caught the eye of two different men.  One of those men was the club’s bartender Jack (who was an aspiring songwriter), and the other was a rich building developer named Marcus who was presently trying to buy the club.  Speaking of which, Tess was having trouble making enough money to support the club and one of her star dancers (and an old friend) was showing very strong signs of alcoholism.

The movie, itself, wasn’t terrible.  But it wasn’t great either.  As an actress, Cher did an excellent performance as usual.  But Aguilera proved that she could actually act.  This wasn’t like Britney Spears in Crossroads.  Christina Aguilera actually belongs in front of the camera.  That being said, I had mixed feelings about the music.  It wasn’t terrible by any means, but neither of the two leads really seemed to do a song that challenged them as a singer.  Essentially, they were both too predictable with their voices.  The only thing the movie really gets credit for is being one of the few musicals where the musical numbers don’t come off as being cheesy (like it or not, randomly breaking into song is quite cheesy).

This leads me to the other stuff I didn’t like about the movie.  Most notably, the film lacked originality.  If you want to see the same plot done better, go watch Coyote Ugly.  Speaking of which, this movie didn’t have that strong of a plot anyone.  Not that it was full of plot holes or anything, but the movie lacked any real depth.  Also, the pacing was putrid.  It moved way too slow for its own good, especially early on.

All in all, I did like this movie.  I just didn’t like it a lot.  It had too many things going wrong for it to ever be among my favorite musicals (I prefer Singing in the Rain or Westside Story).  So will I ever watch this movie again?  I probably would, just not of my own free will.

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