Saturday 18 December 2010

Movie Review: Burlesque (2010)

The folks running the Cliches Are Us store in Hollywood would have closed the shop and put up the Sold Out sign after Burlesque breezed through.

The naive but spunky and talented country gal who goes to the big city.  The dishy bartender who helps her out. The legendary former star yearning for the glory days. The current prima donna performer who will do anything to keep all up-and-comers down. The heartless investor who wants to redevelop the area and end everyone's dreams.  They all occupy the stages and corners of Burlesque, a nightclub film where every idea is welcome as long as it has already been chewed up and spit out in a dozen other movies.

The screenplay, by director Steven Antin with dubious help from others, works hard and succeeds magnificently in avoiding any original scenes, characters, or plot developments.

While Christina Aguilera is appealing enough as the bright-eyed newcomer angling for her chance at the big time, Cher moves with the robotic grace allowed by mechanical joints and every inch on her skin carries the fragility of reconstitution.

The song and dance numbers on the confined nightclub stage are the main focus of the film, and entertaining as these are, Burlesque quickly becomes one endless loop of music videos filmed on the same set.  Antin at least shows some flair in capturing a cabaret feel, and combines the required brisk editing with enough finesse to respect and showcase the dancers' efforts.

If Aguilera wants to look forward to a career in film, she needs to quickly find projects that highlight her talents without the stink of re-digested tripe.

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