Jen Yamato
Burlesque Review

Jen's Rating:


Cabaret + Coyote Ugly + Xtina = Burlesque!

Who’s In It: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Cam Gigandet, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, Dianna Agron

The Basics: Small-town singer Ali (Christina Aguilera) runs away to La La Land and begs her way into waiting tables at a neo-burlesque joint run by Tess (Cher). Naturally, the club is in danger of foreclosure – until Ali unveils her powerful pipes and becomes Tess’s new main attraction, picking up a few love interests (Cam Gigandet’s bartender-musician and McSteamy himself as a rich playboy developer) along the way.

What’s The Deal: Less Showgirls or Glitter and more Cabaret by way of Coyote Ugly, Burlesque razzle-dazzles its way through a litany of familiar showbiz clichés and comes out, for the most part, with sequins and false eyelashes intact. The fault and the credit both go to writer-director Steven Antin, whose strengths lie in filming eye-catching musical numbers and making women look like goddesses. It’s far from perfect, but look past the clunky plot and first-time actress Christina Aguilera’s dramatic inexperience and the routines pop like glittery, seductive fever dreams. It may not give the best film musicals a run for their money, but Burlesque is the most indulgently fabulous time you’ll have at the movies this year, and maybe the only movie ever made that’ll have you thinking you’ve hallucinated yourself into a MAC photo shoot.

Who MakesTthe Biggest Surprise Splash: Not Christina Aguilera, though the difference between her leaden dramatic scenes and her sexy, confident performances is like the difference between “Genie in a Bottle”-era Aguilera and people-licking, fetishwear-clad Xtina. It’s Kristen Bell, who dives fearlessly into her role as a washed-up alcoholic veteran starlet resentful of the neophyte crooner with the “mutant lungs.” Slinking around in next-to-nothing like a bona fide Pussycat Doll, Bell wields her acerbic wit like a set of sharpened press-ons, ready to claw at the next girl who gets in her way.

Where It Stalls Out: At Cher’s big solo number. You can imagine that Cher being Cher and this essentially being Xtina’s movie, she demanded to have her own song/hit single about being strong enough to make it on her own. The result is five minutes of Cher in a spotlight on a darkened stage singing a self-empowerment ballad that brings the entire movie to a standstill. When she takes her mark and tells the DJ to cue the music, that’s your cue to take your bathroom break and go get more popcorn.

What To Invest In Before It’s Too Late: Famous Amos cookies. Let’s just say there’s a bit of inspired product placement involving Cam Gigandet’s junk and a strategically placed box of cookies that’s sure to give plenty of fans a subconscious craving as they leave the theater.


Comments (15)

sawit - 11-24-2010 8:06 PM
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LOVED IT ............. will see it again in a second.....

Teri Lemaster - 11-25-2010 1:40 AM
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saw some mixed, mostly bad reviews prior but I went to see this tonight and was quite surprised both by the pretty good acting talent of Christina Aguilera and that the storyline, although quite choppy at the onset seemed to move quite along as I settled into what there is of a the movie. Cam was quite alluring, Christina was gorgeous and as we already knew, shined in her element. I was bracing myself for a disappointment but LOVED the movie and there is no way in hell it can be compared to the forgettable Showgirls or Glitter. Please.

Steven - 11-25-2010 4:31 AM
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I loved it. The best thing about it was Christina and Cher...Stanley Tucci and Cam.... Everybody els was a prop. FUN

Darren - 11-25-2010 10:21 PM
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Wow you were totally off about Cher's solo. That is the most moving song I have heard in a long time. Cher hater.

don pace - 11-25-2010 11:11 PM
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I loved this movie. I thought Christina did a great job and of course Cher was fabulous. I am going to go see it again this weekend.

Savvy - 11-26-2010 2:12 PM
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I'm about to go see this movie for the second time. I think it was a very good mvoie in my opinion. I wasn't so sure about it when I went to go see it for the first time, because of the mixed reviews. I always think that some movies could do better, but this one was pretty great! I don't understand why people have mixed reviews about this movie. The acting from Christina was amazing and of course Cher was flawless. Also I love Christina's voice SO, that being said, all in all it was a great movie. ~Savvy~

lissy - 11-26-2010 11:15 PM
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Brandon - 11-27-2010 8:37 AM
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You liked this and not Tangled? How did this person get hired?

Brian Varley - 11-27-2010 9:21 PM
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Saw it last night. Going to see it, again. Enjoyed it! :-)

Emma - 11-29-2010 7:45 PM
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HAHAHAA, it didn't stall out with Cher, it stalls out in the first ridiculous scene in the coffee shop. Trite, stupid, and Christina, an actress she is not. The only time she is compelling is when she's doing a musical number. Unfortunately this is a MOVIE and not a MUSIC VIDEO. But from the looks of Aguilera's career, no one wants to see her music videos either. Meow!

Candice B - 11-30-2010 1:19 PM
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This movie was awesome and Christina's acting was not terrible. Flawed--of course! There isn't an actor alive who could've done something better. Cam was hot but Kristen wasn't. She was in it in a major part and I expected more but then dies out and makes a pop in appearance at the end. Cher was amazing as Tess and I recommend this movie. -_Candi_-

Sarah - 12-08-2010 1:59 PM
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Might I add that despite the title of this movie, the choreography and dance styles were more mtv dance club meets vegas than true to the original art form of burlesque, which is baudy, with performers that lure, taunt, and tease the audience with a seductive "I'm not going to show you everything" appeal (who are often voluptuous and multi-talented) rather than "watch me shake my ass like I'm the next Victoria's secret model who didn't get picked for Dancing with the Stars."

Sarah - 12-08-2010 2:16 PM
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ie: there was no strip tease which is the whole point of the burlesque show.

RAY - 1-06-2011 2:49 PM
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Jennifer - 1-07-2011 11:12 AM
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I loved this movie compared to NINE this movie rocked!

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