Review: Burlesque

It’s great to put your assets to good use, but if you want your film to offer an entire package, other elements need to be considered. In the case of Burlesque, writer-director Steve Antin has Christina Aguilera on the brain and nothing more. Clearly this tunnel vision works well when it come to vocals, but just about every other component is practically ignored. As good as her voice is, if you don’t have the proper camerawork to capture the action, adequate editing to make the visuals comprehensible or a well-developed story to engage viewers, you might as well have just made a CD, not a feature film.

Burlesque stars Aguilera as Ali, a small-town waitress who’s fed up with her minimal existence and craves the spotlight. She follows her dreams straight to Los Angeles, but quickly learns that a city change doesn’t mean instant success. After a number of failed auditions, Ali comes across The Burlesque, a nightclub with “The best views on the Sunset Strip.” The place is owned and run by Tess (Cher) with the help of her ex-husband Vince (Peter Gallagher) and loyal assistant Sean (Stanley Tucci). A barrage of girls hit the stage each night to wow the crowd with dance and lip-synching routines. Unfortunately, even there, a job doesn’t come easy. After being rejected by Tess, Ali takes it upon herself to go to work for the bartender, Jack (Cam Gigandet).

Their relationship goes from business to personal when her apartment is ransacked and she’s forced to bunk down at his place. The only thing stifling this budding romance is Jack’s fiancée who happens to be out of town for a few months. As things heat up at home, they heat up at work, too. Ali finally gets her chance to audition to dance on stage and makes the cut. When a music malfunction mutes the vocals, Ali takes it upon herself to sing the tune and blows away not only the audience, but Tess as well.

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