- Director:Steve Antin
- Cast:Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, Cher, Alan Cumming, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci
- Release Date:January 13, 2011
- Running time:119 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
While campy and clichéd, this is a surprisingly enjoyable piece of escapism with Christina Aguilera delivering an impressive turn in the lead role.
Funny when it's supposed to be but not quite as sexy as it'd like to be, Burlesque is a surprisingly enjoyable piece of escapism, especially if you go in braced for something shrill, showy and coated in Hollywood factory veneer.
It's a well-worn tale - the one about the small-town-girl-with-big-city-dreams - with Christina Aguilera cast as Ali, the dreamer. After ditching Iowa, she stumbles across the Burlesque Lounge on LA's Sunset Boulevard, a wonderfully atmospheric, old world club run by Tess (Cher) and under threat of closure. Ali befriends bartender and future romantic interest, Jack (Cam Gigandet from Twilight and Easy A), pushes her way into a job at the club, one day reveals her impressive pipes to the shocked staff... and you know exactly what happens next.
But the journey is a fun one, the music's well above average and Aguilera keeps her screeching to a minimum. In her first feature film, she douses the naysayers with a natural acting style and fine singing and dancing. It's Aguilera's show, but Cher also charms (all the talk about the Botox babe's facial immobility is true - she can move her enhanced lips, she can blink, but that's it).
In his smallish role as a gay stage manager, Stanley Tucci (Julie And Julia, The Devil Wears Prada) is a stand-out - camping it up just enough to put a sting into his delicious lines. Peter Gallagher drifts in and out, supplying little more than his name, yet he, like the rest of the supports, is convincing.
Sure, the master/apprentice relationship between Cher and Aguilera's characters could have been amped up and the skimpy storyline needed frills; yet there's heart, laughs and spirit here.
It's not for the cynical, but the well paced, unselfconsciously camp Burlesque does what's it is designed to do. It leaves you feeling good. It takes you some place else. It entertains.