CHRISTINA AGUILERA CHER CAM GIGANDET ERIC DANE KRISTEN BELL
STANLEY TUCCI alan cumMing peter Gallagher julianne hough
We typically get one musical a year these days, and with concepts for new musicals few and far between, directors and producers seem to have no other option than to repeat what has proven successful. Burlesque, directed by novice director Steve Antin takes obvious elements from successful musicals like Moulin Rouge, Chicago and even more structural similarities from films like The Devil Wears Prada and Coyote Ugly; mix those four films together and you have Burlesque. Making her feature film debut is Grammy winning recording artist Christina Aguilera who is surprisingly talented in the acting department, and of course Oscar winner Cher returns to the big screen after a decade.
Leaving her small town life in Ohio for Los Angeles, Ali (Aguilera) stumbles upon a struggling burlesque theater downtown. Ali pleads with the owner Tess (Cher) for a job, but by her tenacity gets a job for herself at the bar by flirting with the bartender Jack (Gigandet). When one of the dancers gives up her spot, Ali auditions since she knows every move and every song, but she only stuns the crowd when they hear her sing. Tess changes the entire show to incorporate Ali as the main act. With no place to live, Ali sleeps on flirtatious Jack’s couch until they realize the chemistry between them is too strong.
In every genre we all pick our favorite films and hold those on a pedestal, comparing everything else against them. That can certainly be the case here, but what I don’t understand is why the film makers would intentionally choose ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ that Nicole Kidman showcased in the widely popular and Oscar nominated Moulin Rouge and the same Roxie Hart haircut from Chicago. Burlesque ends up being a collection of great elements from other movies done in less creative fashion. This film has its entertaining moments, but every time I think of a scene that was fun, like the pajama striptease, I think of another scene (the cardboard celebrity audience scene in Coyote Ugly) that they stole from.
Oscar nominated actor Stanley Tucci could have been this movie's comedic saving grace however he repeats his witty role from The Devil Wears Prada almost verbatim. So in the end, while this movie is cute, has some fun sexy musical numbers it has completely nothing original or unique to set it apart from those films before it. It remains to be seen how The Hollywood Foreign Press will embrace this film for their comedy/musical Golden Globe nominations being announced in a few weeks, just because it’s the years only musical it seems they would throw it some nominations, but there is an eerie lack of buzz for this film.
Final Thought – A blend of better films mixed together for something fluffy and mediocre.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih