Burlesque (2010)

Drama, Musical, Romance
Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming, Eric Dane
A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.
Campy and clich?d, Burlesque wastes its talented cast (including a better-than-expected Christina Aguilera) on a movie that wavers uncertainly between "bad" and "so bad it's good."
  • Sony Pictures/Screen Gems Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 24 Nov 2010 Released:
  • 01 Mar 2011 DVD Release:
  • $39.4M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Burlesque: The return of the movie-musical!10/10
When I originally heard of the concept for Steven Antin's Burlesque, a movie musical starring pop phenom Christina Aguilera and the legendary Cher, I was, if you could believe it, less than enthusiastic. I was under the assumption that this film would be not just bad, but god awful. Recalling horrid pop star film debuts (ex. Mariah Carey in the depressingly hollow Glitter, Britney Spears in the mind-numbing Crossroads) I thought I was in for a cinematic train wreck of epic proportions. And I'm happy to tell you today, that I couldn't have been more wrong.

First of all, what makes Burlesque unlike Glitter and Crossroads is its aesthetics. Christina Aguilera's strong voice is enough to carry a film, as it turns out. However, Burlesque has more to fall back on. Cher plays Tess, Aguilera's character's boss and mentor. She can make any film excellent. Secondly, this film is a musical, also unlike Glitter and Crossroads. It shoots for being something of a hybrid between Cabaret and Chicago, and doesn't completely fail. Thirdly, this film has an outstanding supporting cast, including the always great Stanley Tucci, Grey's Anatomy vet Eric Dane, Kristen Bell, Cam Gigandet, and Alan Cumming, and these folks bring enough liveliness to save even the worst film, but here, they only add to the fun and excitement.

The story is really nothing new. Small-town girl Ali (Aguilera) leaves her job as an Iowan waitress, and heads for the big lights of Los Angeles. She stumbles upon a burlesque club run by Tess (Cher), starts working her way up, and eventually becomes the main attraction, with her intense vocal range and elaborate interpretations of dance numbers, which turns out to be a godsend for Tess, who is about to lose her club. She starts living with the charismatic and sexy bartender Jack (Cam Gigandet), after her apartment gets robbed. Romance ensues, and things go from there.

Cliche, right? It's been done before, right? Right. There isn't a section of this film that isn't even a little bit corny. But, that's not to say it's not a load of fun. I'm sorry, Harry Potter, Burlesque is the film event of the Thanksgiving holiday. Christina Aguilera isn't a fantastic actress, but she's better than you would expect her to be, and her song-and-dance numbers, obviously, are fantastic, as one would expect.

She and Cher have fantastic chemistry, as well as Cher and Stanley Tucci. All of these actors blend together so well, that they seem to compliment each other, enhancing each performance. And, I was rather disappointed to see that Cher only sang two out of the film's ten musical numbers, but it's safe to say that that's not enough, considering that she can still belt the hell out of these songs. However, Cher's obvious plastic surgeries don't help her performance, considering that her face barely moves throughout the entire picture, but she's still able to pull this role off, somehow.

Steven Antin is a director whom I've never heard of, however, I was fairly impressed. The film is directed with impeccable taste, and the writing is very quick and clever, and humorous, even when a little corny.

However, what really saves Burlesque in the end is its elaborate song- and-dance numbers. Soon after the movie begins, you know what kind of film you're in for. Even as cliche after cliche presents themselves, Burlesque has enough razzle-dazzle magic to outweigh its faults, and to leave you dancing in the aisles as you leave this film.
Almost Bob Fosse6/10
The musical numbers reminded me of "Sweet Charity" and the camera moves around the Kit Kat Klub style room like Fosse's camera did in "Cabaret" The similarities stop there. The film is a brave attempt but the writing walks a very, very thin line. Was Steve Antin trying to be funny? Some of the lines were received with loud guffaws and there is no way to know if that was the intention because, personally, I felt like cringing. Never mind. It was fun. Christina has a powerful voice but not film presence and Cher is a fearless icon but she had so little to show for it. The best performance is, without question, by Stanley Tucci. The songs work at the moment you're watching them being performed but I couldn't hum a tune now, 48 hours later, for the life of me. So, I was entertained and in the big scheme of things, I guess that's enough
Burlesque : Very good for that kind of movie8/10
So, it's a movie about a lounge with signers and dancers. It's not a musical, but you expect to see dancing, sexy and songs. Burlesque delivers on all account, it's sexy without being naked, it's fun, the music is great.

I don't know why so many reviewers here say that Christina Aguilera is a bad actress, she gave quite a decent performance considering that, well, she is not an actress. And while Cher is not on the screen all the time, she is fantastic. For a woman in her sixties, wow...

The movie made me buy the soundtrack, Christina know how to sing and she is very good.

As for the background stories (lounge on the verge of closing, love interest), they are there to give the movie some meaning but are not overly invading on the main content witch is signing and dancing. Those background stories are were the movie lost my 2 points, because you don't quite feel the urgency, stress of Tess money problems, everything runs like there is no problem at all.

All in all, it's a good, entertaining movie. It's gonna be in my blu-ray collection, just for the music and dancing alone.
There's 2 hours I won't be getting back.3/10
This movie wore out both my BS detector and my suspension of disbelief.

It should be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act, and sued by Rob Marshall and the estate of Bob Fosse for plagiarism. Because it ain't burlesque, and it rips off too many elements from Marshall's film of "Chicago" and Fosse's choreography, for me to count.

This movie is as true a glimpse of the real burlesque scene, as "Showgirls" was of the real traditional Vegas showgirl scene. But "Showgirls" had a slightly more believable plot.

Here's a suggestion for Steve Antin: How about making a movie called "Girl Group", with only one musical number in it? After all, you've given us a movie called "Burlesque" with only ONE actual burlesque number in it. The rest is just a rip-off of your sister's Pussycat Dolls routines. Especially that final number. THAT was the song that took so long for the hero to write??? THAT was the song that was so deeply personal that he couldn't share it with anyone until he felt it was perfect??? No wonder my BS detector wore out.

The costumes are gorgeous (hence the 3 stars from me), but they're the only things that made this movie remotely tolerable. And the camera never held still long enough for me to get a really good look at them. (Note to all directors: If you're spending that much on costumes, for god's sake, let us see them and appreciate them!) Also, as someone who is active in the burlesque scene, I must point out that merely wearing a burlesque style costume does NOT make someone into a burlesque performer any more than wearing spike heels and a miniskirt makes a nun into a streetwalker.

Vocally, Christina Aguilera and Cher both have amazing voices. But does every song they sing have to be a power-ballad with all those full-out wails and cadenzas? Enough, already! Those songs and vocal gymnastics lose their dramatic power when they're all we ever get to hear.

All in all, "Burlesque" was 2 hours of my life that I won't be getting back.
Pleasantly surprised8/10
I can easily summarize this film into short sentences. This film has everything, everything but a plot that is. What you should expect from Burlesque is almost two hours of high powered entertainment. Burlesque is just that, entertaining. If you are going to this film to witness a great storyline unfold don't go see this film. However, if you want to be entertained with great vocals from Christina Aguilera and Cher in addition to great acting from Peter Gallagher, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cummings, and again Cher then this film is a must see. I must say prior to the screening that I attended, I was very apprehensive that I was going to see a product that resembled a "Nine" / "Coyote Ugly" blend of a film, but I was certainly wrong. Burlesque holds itself above the rest of the films in its category. The film obviously cost a lot to produce and I believe that the money was well spent. Cher's performance was excellent. Say what you want about the person, but the actress conveys a confidence level in front of the camera as though she has done this a hundred times. Stanley Tucci is also quite merit worthy in this film. His performance in "Lovely Bones" is still haunting and his role as Cher's right-hand gay best friend/costume designer in this film just shows what incredible range this actor has. The costume design, casting, choreography and set design for this film are also worthy of mention. You can count on this film definitely being nominated in the Best Film in Comedy or Musical category for the Golden Globes in December. This film will also do incredibly well at the box office. I would have no problem watching this film again.