Alice (played by Christina Aguilera) is fed up with her small-town life in Iowa, so she quits her job and heads to Los Angeles to follow her dreams to become a singer. She searches for work but finds nothing, then she happens upon a nightclub called “Burlesque”. Inside, although it is past its prime, the club is alluring and she finds a world of stunning cabaret, music and a life she dreams of being a part of. After sweet-talking the barman Jack (by Cam Gigandet), she wangles herself a job with the nightclub owner Tess (by Cher) who is suspicious of her, but gives her a chance. The club has found hard financial times lately and wealthy property developer, Marcus (by Eric Dane) has made Tess an offer that is difficult to refuse. However, Tess is determined to keep the club and supported by her trusty Show Manager, Sean (by Stanley Tucci) and Ali, she finds a way to fight back. In the meantime, Ali is making her way as a cabaret artist in the face of rising jealousy within the troupe, particularly from the stars Nikki (by Kristen Bell) and Georgia (by Julianne Hough). Ali’s head is turned by the handsome and ambitious Marcus, but she’s so keen to follow her dreams might she just miss noticing the one man who really cares about her?
If you would like to see Christina Aguilera display her unquestioned talent and beauty in a range of musical styles, costumes and dance genre then this is the movie for you. At best, this is a showcase of Christina’s musical capability (which is quite vast) and the undisputed talent of Cher (her song “You Haven’t seen the Last of Me” is the stand out in this movie). Other than that, however, this piece does not have much going for it. The story is quite nice and the comedy is witty, but it is really only there to provide some kind of link between the songs. The support performances are strong and welcoming (I would rather watch these than the cabaret) – Stanley Tucci reprises his performance from “The Devil Wears Prada” and Eric Dane is perfectly cast as the suave and slick Marcus. Watch for a great cameo from James Brolin too. For me, the best comes from Alan Cumming who plays the cheeky Club Host, Alexis, in a very similar guise to that by Joel Gray in “Cabaret“. Unfortunately Cher is disappointingly insipid, I have seen much stronger performances from her in several (most) of her past performances. Cam Gigandet could make more of his male support character also.
Made in 2010. Directed by Steve Antin.