This new movie starring Christina Aguilera and Cher has a tremendous amount of hype to overcome. Christina singing on Dancing With the Stars! Cher on the cover of Vanity Fair! Talk shows! Late night! Big budget! (Is 55 million dollars a big budget movie anymore?)
Well, Burlesque does deliver in some ways. The music is first rate. It imaginatively combines some old standards with music written for this movie. Christina and Cher and obviously very talented performers. Cher, however, displays little of the acting ability that garnered her an Oscar for Moonstruck. I think part of the problem is her expressionless expression (Botox, anyone?). And Christina is clearly not an actress.
The plot of Burlesque is nearly non-existent. It tells the story of Ali (Christina) a young woman from Iowa who moves to Los Angeles to sing and dance her way to stardom. The only job she gets is as a cocktail waitress at the eponymous club, Burlesque. Cher is Tess, a semi-retired dancer and the owner of the club, who also happens to produce all the musical numbers. Eventually, Tess realizes that Ali can sing and dance, and reworks the musical numbers around her. The club is facing serious financial difficulties, and Tess can do nothing but believe that a miracle will happen and the club will be saved. Will Ali be that miracle? Hmmmm.
The actors in the smaller roles are very good. Look for Stanley Tucci, Dianna Agron, Julianne Hough, Peter Gallagher and Kristen Bell.
It’s not necessary to actually see this movie. You can watch the previews and buy the soundtrack and that should cover it.