Burlesque (2010)

Burlesque is the newest movie by Steve Antin, starring Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell and Peter Gallagher.

Small town girl Ali (Christina Aguilera) moves to L.A. to make it big as a singer/dancer. She ends up in a Burlesque bar owned by Tess (Cher), former Burlesque dancer/singer and her ex-husband (Peter Gallagher). Ali gets to know the barkeeper Jack (Cam Gigandet) and with his help she basically hires herself – as a waitress, at least at first.

The movie is about as bad as you imagine it to be. Which means don’t-spend-your-money-on-it bad. But with a fast-forward button at hand, it might be worth to spend your time on it.

Having seen the film now, it still astounds me that it got a Golden Globe nomination – it was a really bad year for comedy – and that it got a Golden Globe – it wasn’t that bad a year for film songs, was it? [If a song from that film deserved a win, btw, it would have been this one.] But I really have to admit that it’s not as abysmal as I thought it would be.

Most of that is due to the amazing supporting cast. Stanley Tucci is wonderful, as usual. Alan Cumming is criminally underused (he doesn’t even get to sing) but makes even the cheesiest line work, somehow. Eric Dane’s job description is to be attractive and he fulfills it admirably.

But the rest of the film is crippled by its story (which we’ve seen a thousand times already), Christina Aguilera’s and Cam Gigandet’s flat performances and Cher’s plastic surgeon who made it almost impossible for her to talk understandably.

The last hour descends into a plotless sequence of musical numbers that just aren’t very good and make you wish for the return of the plot even though you couldn’t care less about any of it.

Summarising: If you want to see it for Stanley Tucci and Alan Cumming (and a bit drooling over Eric Dane), but you should fast-forward through everything else.

2 thoughts on “Burlesque (2010)

  1. Yep, I agree. You didn’t mention the shameless exploitation of Cam Gigandet for the older females in the audience, or the fact that swap Marilyn Monroe for Leeanne Rimes and this was pretty much Coyote Ugly, but otherwise covered it perfectly.

    I had to close my eyes when Cher sang – that voice and that face are at such a disconnect it’s actually creepy. Like discussing Descartes with a blow-up doll.

    On the slightly plus-side, my mother does recommend Burlesque if you need a cure for trauma suffered when you went to see Black Swan because you thought it would be “a lovely ballet movie”…

    • Ouch @ your mom. I wouldn’t have wanted to see Black Swan with those expectations. Yikes.

      You’re right about Cam Gigandet’s exploitation. And that it was Coyote Ugly was so obvious beforehand, I don’t think it surprises anyone.

      lol @ Descartes and the Blow-Up doll [which would be an awesome band name]

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