It doesn’t matter how clichéd the premise or how much I hate the stars involved I will go to the cinema to see a musical simply for the fact that it is a musical. Last night The Nerdy Trio attempted yet again to see Burlesque praying that this time the screen would not break thirty minutes into the film and that none of the staff members working on our first attempt were there to see us execute attempt number two.
PLOT: Christina Aguilera plays Ali a small town country girl hoping to make her way in LA as a singer and/or dancer. Upon arriving in LA Ali stumbles upon a Burlesque club and all my long forgotten dreams of dancing on a bar to The Devil Came Down to Georgia ala Coyote Ugly came screaming back with a vengeance. After forcing a dance audition on the clubs owner Tess (Cher) Ali gets a job much to the annoyance of Nikki (the criminally underused Kristen Bell). After Nikki sabotages Ali’s performance she is forced to sing live and low and behold Ali can sing. Ali becomes the star of the show. The club is almost bankrupt. Ali becomes a hit. We all forget about the love interest until he has a wonderfully toned nude scene. Cher also sings. The club is saved. END PLOT
The plot of Burlesque is neither original nor interesting but it doesn’t matter as it serves only to link each dance number to the next. The movie does lag slightly just before the final hurrah as makes an effort to tie up all the straggly threads of plot but it just about keeps it together.
Christina Aguilera is not going to win any acting awards any time soon and the only word I can think of to describe her performance is “soft” - of course when Ali starts to sing and dance the movie transforms into an MTV video. I should really frown upon this as someone who never watches the music channels on tv but I don’t care. As soon as I saw the Burlesque dancers I was hooked and more importantly I now want to be one so on that rather insane level the movie succeeded.
Cher shouldn’t have been good in this movie. Cher shouldn’t be good in anything if only for the fact that she Cher but she is ridiculously watchable on screen. It is a strange experience watching an actress try to emote without moving any facial muscles and on that rather insane level Cher succeeded. The rating of Burlesque was 12A which means we are entitled to hear one F-Bomb so kudos to Cher for also taking home this award.
The best part of Burlesque was the American version of Mark Strong aka Mr Stanley Tucci himself, popping up unexpectedly to steal the show albeit with the same style of performance but meh Stan, like Mark Strong, can pull it off with ease.
The songs were all fun and I will admit to having a couple on my I-Pod including a weird yet somehow workable cover of Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People.
On 1st January 2011 Burlesque wins the award for movie of the year so far; a title which is well and truly deserved. How long it will remain at the top of the pile remains to be seen although it faces strong competition from The Kings Speech next weekend but Burlesque can rein high and proud nonetheless. It gets an 8/10. It’s a guilty pleasure that I don’t feel too much guilt about liking.