Cher and Christina Aguilera in a movie

movie by Jamie Floyd

A blonde, blue-eyed, small town girl leaves her job as a waitress in a tiny cheap diner for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood in the hopes of becoming a star.
Sound familiar?

Well, it’s virtually every movie that’s been made before about a small town girl with big dreams, except this time it’s called Burlesque and it stars vocally gifted and acting challenged pop star Christina Aguilera and legendary pop diva Cher.

Aguilera’s character, Ali, is cute and talented, but plain and one dimensional as the majority of the characters in the movie are. All we know about her is that her mom died when she was seven, that she has no other family members, and that she’s fed up with her small town life. So she decides to get on the first one way bus trip to L.A. – not before a song of course.

In Hollywood, Ali meets the Burlesque Lounge club owner Tess played by Cher, the latter manages to give her character a bit of depth, which is surprising considering her face was so stiff and plastic. It’s amazing she showed any emotion at all.

By some chance meetings, an unexpected pregnancy by burlesque dancer Georgia (played by professional Dancing with the stars alum Julianne Hough) and some impressive vocal displays, literally before you know it, Ali is shimmying, shacking, whipping her hair, booty popping and grinding with the other girls on stage and that’s about it.

While there is some drama with Tess, whose club is on the verge of bankruptcy, Ali falls for the hot and engaged bartender Jack (Cam Gigandget of Twilight), Nikki’s (Kristen Bell) drunken antics cause some minor drama and Marcus (played by a wooden Eric Dane of Grey’s Anatomy) tries to seduce Ali and turn the club into high-rise condos, nothing else happens. The movie starts and ends at the same place and everyone is happy at the end.

It’s obvious that this movie is less about plot and more about entertainment, which it succeeds at. Christina displays her usual amazing vocal chops to the always big and extravagant musical numbers. The stage manager Sean (played by Stanley Tucci) is definitely the scene stealer with all the funny and the less cheesy one-liners, while Bell shines as the alcoholic spoiled diva Nikki who fears her impending 15 minutes coming to an end and Christina and Cam actually manage to have good chemistry.

The songs were decent and some have the potential of being actual billboard hits with their broad message of consumption, the luxury of material goods, self-empowerment and the word ‘burlesque’ (almost every song has the word in its lyrics).

Unfortunately, the main problem aside from the inconsistent acting is that the movie moves too fast to end up going nowhere. We don’t know anything more about any of these characters than we did at the beginning, which is sad considering the script was allegedly partially written by Diablo Cody of Juno fame. However if you want to pick up some new moves and embrace your inner diva, then this movie is for you.


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