Friday, November 26, 2010


The Flick: Burlesque

The Peeps: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Kristin Bell, Stanley Tucci, Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, etc.

The Dealio: Small town orphan-girl moves to big city and is instantaneously enthralled by the setting of Burlesque, a small club which features very well attired, nicely choreographed old school Burley-cue style entertainments, in which a rainbow of feisty gals cavort in gorgeous make-up and pretty snazzy- not to mention skimpy- clothing as they lip sync their way through vintage tunes.
Although it appears that maestro Cher- who appears in every show, singing like, well, Cher- has a winning sitch here, she is apparently bleeding money and has refinanced twice in an effort to save the place from the avarice of her ex-spouse ( Peter Gallagher) and the acquisitiveness of a businessman(Dane) with an eye for development opps and hot tomatoes who do the risque for a living. Yep, Alli ( Aguilera) is hired, and proves to be such a spectacular draw she is saving the place singlehandedly. But, wait: there are a few dusty, time-honored cliches which have not yet been dusted off and tossed into the mix. But they will be. Oh, yes. They. Will. Be. Add in the good hearted dancer who is pregnant by her ambivalent BF, the good-hearted bar keep who is a closet song writer and, of course, let's not forget the soon to be overshadowed feature dancer, who is a lush and malignant in her contempt for everything that isn't, well, her. But, she, too, proves to be hiding- and very well, indeed- a good heart. Oh. Puh-leez.

The Grading Session: 2.17 pengies out of 5. Serious point debit-age for the lackluster, hackneyed and basically coma-inducing soundtrack. Too, if there is a worse crime than wasting Alan Cumming, it must surely be the flagrant misuse of Stanley Tucci (Can't SOMEthing be done about my obsession with this man? I swan, if I had to pick my fave in a duel between Tucci and Richard Jenkins, I simply would have to opt for door number 3- Justin Beiber. Sorry. Had to be said).
While I can not deny that Cher and Aguilera have incredible voices, it did them a disservice to force them to warble the tripe that passed for 'inspired genius' in this flick. The plot was threadbare, the setting lackluster. However, the costumes, make-up (OK, I admit, I had to laugh out loud when Cher had to teach Christina- Christina!- how to apply make-up!) was phenomenal. Barb- my authority on all thing maquillage- states that it is Smashbox, so, if you are inspired by anything in this flick, it would most likely be the make-up, and, well, folks, it's Smashbox. Aaaaand, the costumes seemed rather luxe to me for a place that is about to go under for the final time...but, what do I know?

Lessons Learned: Well, that this idea was done earlier and better in Singin' In The Rain. Also-great voices and great actors are not enough: writers, directors, honey. Please! You have got to give 'em something with which to work.
Am I sorry I saw this movie? Not really. Am I disappointed and let down by lack of imagination and originality? You betcha.

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