Director:Steve Antin
Screenplay:Steve Antin
Producers:Donald De Line, Stacey Cramer
Starring:Cher, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci
Duration:100 Minutes

“It takes a LEGEND… to make a STAR!”

It takes Stanley Tucci in this FILM… for me not to blow my brains out all over my POPCORN!

Out of the 2 stars I’ve given to “Burlesque” one goes just to Tucci’s performance. As the calming stage manager of Cher’s erotic dance club, he did just that- calm me. Making the film’s talkie parts bearable with his immeasurable talent of being able to raise the performance of his co-stars and make it possible to almost enjoy the silly world around him.

I’m definitely not the intended viewer for “Burlesque” but if a film’s good, I’ll appreciate it. Heck, if a film’s so bad it’s good, I’ll appreciate that as well. But director Steve Antin couldn’t even get that right, missing the mark on consistent camp and only succeeding in plain old bad filmmaking. This is no train wreck like “Glitter” or “Showgirls” but “who cares” sub-plot after “who cares” sub-plot along with stolen choreography from “Moulin Rouge” and “Chicago” make for a viewing experience that almost made my eyes rolling in the back of my head permanent.

A Midwest (duh) waitress named Ali (Christina Aguilera) has big dreams and moves to Hollywood (dur), learns of the sexy and exotic world of Burlesque dancing and gets the bug (dur-dur), then through much begging is finally given a chance from club owner and star Tess (Cher) and finally a rival jealous dancer’s attempt at treachery actually backfires allowing Ali to show off her awesome pipes that nobody knew about (dur, dur, dur). Throw in a romance with a hot bartender (Cam Gigandet) and Tess dealing with threats of her club’s foreclosure and there you have it folks.

In her film debut, Aguilera wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought she would be. The “dirrty” girl isn’t much for conveying lots of emotion unless it’s up onstage singing but it’s a smooth enough delivery that it doesn’t take away too much focus. As her rival dancer puts it, played horribly obnoxious by Kristen Bell, “she’s a girl with mutant lungs”. Her famous lungs even had me bopping a little to the film’s title song. How do you get Cher to return to her first full film since 1999’s “Tea with Mussolini” and only give her two songs? One of them coming in my least favorite scene where the number is completely unrelated to the film and is just there because Antin remembered he had Cher in the movie. Cher, who has an Oscar, deserves some sort of award for taking on the horse crap dialogue she was forced to deliver.

“But Mitch you’re just a ruff and tuff man’s-man that can slam a Smirnoff Ice like no one I’ve ever seen, this isn’t the type of film you’d ever enjoy.”

Wrong about never enjoying these kind of films . It’s called “Moulin Rouge” and I’ll watch it with you right now mister! Again, I’m not the intended demographic for “Burlesque”. That intended group is people who enjoy crappy films.

“This” is intended for people who enjoy crappy films.

Psalm 149:3

Review by Mitch Hansch

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