Burlesque | 2010 | PG-13 | 2 hours | written & directed by Sean Antin | Screen Gems
For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I want to spotlight a beloved “bad movie”: Burlesque.
This Christina Aguilera vehicle came out in 2010. It has the same exact plot as Coyote Ugly, but in a burlesque lounge instead of a bar. Ali, a small town girl, comes to LA in search of a singing career. She winds up headlining at a swanky burlesque club owned by Cher. Meanwhile, Cher faces pressure to sell her club to a real estate developer to pay off debts. Cher’s character’s name is Tess, but doesn’t Cher just play Cher in every movie at this point? I love that brooding witch.
If you take Burlesque at face value, you see a silly chick flick and some very bad wigs. But look closer and you will see real talent. Stanley Tucci is in this movie. Kristen Bell, the most underrated actress of our time, plays Nikki, the alcoholic proto- diva out to get Ali. Julianne Hough actually dances!
No one can deny Christina Aguilera’s talent. If Ali existed in real life and she really DID have Christina Aguilera’s voice, there’s no way she’d stay in a burlesque lounge for long. Cam Gigandet (aka Volcheck on The O.C.) plays Jack, Ali’s puppy- eyed love interest who has no qualms with dumping his fiancee over the phone. Jack walked straight out of a Young Adult novel, but the little pre- coitus comedy routine he pulls feels like something a real dude would do. He also has a very gorgeous Moroccan- themed apartment.
Did I mention the dancing? Burlesque has six fabulous dance numbers. On the scale of movie musicals, Burlesque falls below Chicago but WAY above Nine. Burlesque has a paper thin plot for a movie, but for a musical, it works perfectly: all the problems get solved in the 11th hour, just in time for a showstopping musical number. Burlesque also addresses a very real problem: L.A. real estate prices.
Critics panned Burlesque, but, E! still plays it on Movies We Love. And it’s a movie I love. I love Christina’s shameless self- promotion. I love Cher’s sarcasm. I love Stanley Tucci playing the exact same character he played in Devil Wears Prada. I love how Jullianne Hough’s pregnant character wears a trashy babydoll to her very expensive wedding. I love when Cher shatters Nikki’s car window with a crow bar. THIS MOVIE IS SO RIDICULOUS!
I like to throw it on and practice dance moves. For a fun, fabulous romp, go Burlesque.