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A small town singer, Ali (Christina Aguilera), moves to the big city for her chance at stardom where she is enchanted by Burlesque, a glamorous nightclub packed with dancers, sizzling music, and an owner (Cher) in need of a star. Jam-packed with visually stunning musical numbers and an all-star cast featuring Eric Dane, Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci.
There is, according to Burlesque, a nightclub on the Sunset Strip that looks like a blend of Cabaret and Moulin Rouge and employs a full contingent of dancers and musicians in the service of a neo-retro-burlesque-blues program. Presiding over the craziness within is Tess, a grande dame who also performs occasionally and who could only, under these circumstances, be played by Cher. Entering the scene is a young leather-lunged hopeful from Iowa named Ali, played by Christina Aguilera in her movie-acting debut. The vibe of this glitzy concoction is more Flashdance than Showgirls, despite prerelease predictions that the film would be a campfest of epic proportions. In fact, it's more cornball than trashy. Ali hits most of the clichés of the genre: defying Tess's skepticism by proving her mettle during an impromptu stage number; flirting with the nice-guy bartender (Cam Gigandet, of Twilight) whose home she shares for a while, in a purely platonic way, of course, just until she gets her feet on the ground; and keeping a wary eye on the high roller (Eric Dane, of Grey's Anatomy) who wants to possess her, because, you see, he takes whatever he likes. And did we mention that Tess is facing foreclosure on the club in a month's time? Seriously, you didn't see that coming? Writer-director Steve Antin has no embarrassment about putting any of this across, which may be why it all feels weirdly innocent, if relentlessly silly. Stanley Tucci revives his gay assistant from The Devil Wears Prada, Alan Cumming lurks about in an undefined role that might well have been filmed months after everybody else, and Kristen Bell enjoys a few wicked-witch moments as Ali's main rival. Aguilera, needless to say, belts out her songs as only someone with a very large voice can, and Cher stops the show with an old-fashioned torch song ("You Haven't Seen the Last of Me") that is clearly designed as a roof-raiser. (And, by gum, it works.) This is a ridiculous movie, but it gets points for never claiming to be anything else. --Robert Horton
The Burlesque Lounge: Alternate Full Musical Performances!
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Top customer reviews
Not every movie has to be powerful or meaningful. A movie and and sometimes should be just a great romp in the park. This one is.
Burlesque features two great Divas: Cher and Cristina Aguilera. I love the story of a small-town (but street savvy) girl that finds a home and makes good at Burlesque, an old-fashioned House of Burlesque. The dance numbers are fantastic. Cristina is an absolutely fantastic singer; when she first came on the scene, she was the only girl singer of all the pop princesses that came out at the same time: Britney, Mandy, Jessica. Cristina can actually sing and has an extremely powerful voice for such a small, petite woman. Cher is always fabulous and is wonderful as the mentor and boss to Cristina's character. She is the Grande Dame Diva of them all and I absolutely love any film that she's in.
Quite a few parts I skipped because they made me uncomfortable but the singing and dancing is SO stunning and SO well done! Such an incredible Broadway movie!
Curious to hear just how good Christina Aguilera is? This is the movie for you!
What an awesome surprise to find that Burlesque is a solidly entertaining movie from start to finish. It's like a decadent dessert for the eyes and ears. The sets are lavish, the costumes are gorgeous, the actors (male and female) are beautiful, the choreography is stunning, and the musical numbers are spectacular. There's wry humor sprinkled throughout, it's possible to feel empathy for most of the characters, and all the sparkly song-and-dance is held together by at least the semblance of a plot. On the downside, prepare yourself for some cartoonish characterizations and clunky dialog ... but then again, this is a pretty fantastical production (think "Moulin Rouge") so it would be unrealistic to expect hard-hitting drama and character nuance. All in all, this movie entertained my socks off. It's like going to a Cirque de Soleil show -- fun, dreamy, color-saturated, full of rhythm and melody, totally immersive. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.
Cher sings one great song and one that is just awful, which I fast-forward through.
The daqncing choreography is unbelievably complex and very well performed.
The story is interesting but you know how it will turn out for Angulara early in the film. It is interesting nevertheless. The soluiotn to Cher's club/money on the other hand is not predictable until it happens very near the end of the film.
(I like the music so much that I also bought the soundtrack. Fabulous music.)
Most recent customer reviews
Not about original burlesque though