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Preview review: 'Burlesque,' Christina Aguilera's first (and last?) act

August 6, 2010 | 11:52 am

MV5BMTM1MTk3MzU4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjEyNTM2Mw@@._V1._SX640_SY427_ In the last decade, pop divas haven't exactly had the best track record on the silver screen. Sure, there were some solid turns from Beyonce, but she's the exception. Miley Cyrus didn't bowl over critics with her performance in the Nicholas Sparks tear-jerker "The Last Song." Britney Spears made her big-screen debut (and swan song) with the road-trip classic "Crossroads." And before "Precious," Mariah Carey had (gulp) "Glitter" and "Tennessee."

Now it's Christina Aguilera's turn to show her skills, which she attempts to do in "Burlesque," a  star-is-born drama out in November from Screen Gems. The singer plays Ali, the prototypical small-town girl with starry eyes who buses herself all the way from Iowa to the Hollywood sign to fulfill her dreams of stardom. She starts waiting tables at a "neo-burlesque" club, run by the world-weary Tess (Cher). Ali tries to convince the lounge's owner that she has what it takes to be a part of the club's act, but Tess and her surly counterpart, Sean (Stanley Tucci), don't think she has the chops.

That is, until she gets on stage and belts out a song like — well, Christina Aguilera.

Judging by the trailer, the film looks like it's overflowing with camp and schmaltz — even if the pairing of Cher and Aguilera seems appealing. The story is basically preposterous, a la "Coyote Ugly": All a girl really wants in life is to wear very little and dance atop a bar! (Or in this case, wear very little and dance in a bar.) And the bits of dialogue we hear here are so hokey that we can't imagine taking the movie seriously.

"You gotta make me believe that you belong on that stage," Cher's character implores her protege. "That it's yours! And that nobody can take it from you. Now you wanna show me something? Show me that!"

She and Tucci do seem to have good chemistry. And one of the many doctors from "Grey's Anatomy" (Eric Dane) serves as a potential love interest, which is a plus, if only for the eye candy. But while we're looking forward to the song-and-dance numbers from Aguilera, her acting looks like it leaves a lot to be desired. She's trying so hard to be innocent as her character pleads with Cher, "Just tell me what you want!"

Probably not this.

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Cher and Christina Aguilera star in "Burlesque." Credit: Screen Gems.

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Comments () | Archives (55)

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This movie looks amazing. I'm dying to see it, and I can't wait 'til Thanksgiving to see it !!
I'm basically just watching it because Christina is in it.If it didn't , I don't think I'd be interested.
Well maybe because the guy that played as James in Twilight is in it, & I find him very VERY Attractive.
However,I'm very dissapinted in Cher.
But I have a feeling Christina will leave everyone breathless-like always.

WOW it's Great!!! can't wait to see Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet and Cher in this awesome movie. Just like Christina Aguilera's "Bionic" album its gonna be amazing


The LA Times??? This sounds more like an article out of one of the rag mags. Geeez.

I think that the movie Burlesque clearly does not represent the actual burlesque society.
From looking at the trailer, just the music, dance style and ,costumes just there alone say it all.
Its merely a bad cabaret club and not burlesque at all.
I think its sad that the producers actually have lied with a movie like this. and of course it has the same old hollywood story. It s sad as the burlesque history in america is magical as it is today

sharon k

She's not Elizabeth Berkley, so the movie stands a chance of falling short of turkeydom, even if it's being realeased 'round Thanksgiving. heh-heh.

Saw the movie last week and I must say its worth seeing. I knew i wanted to see it cause both are great singers but this movie is more than that.. Yes cher has always been a great actress and singer and she shows us again the talent she has... Christina wows u with her high note, we all knew she had it but well just see it for urself..

Lets see if Aguilera can stay sober long enough to sit through the premier...

I saw the film already at a advance screening. Fans of Christina and Cher are going to love this movie. I will be going back opening weekend to see it again. Don't let reviewers decide for you. Most of the time reviewers get what the public likes wrong.

This movie has FLOP written all over it. There is no audience for a film like this. People dont want to see musicals or drama like this with a failing pop singer. Cher or not, this goes down in flames!

This movie will flop. Harry Potter, in its second week, will demolish it.

I Just saw a pre-screening of this film, I like Christina... love Cher.The movie itself was mediocre at best, cliche and most of all extremely predictable. Keep in mind I was very excited to see this movie because I actually like the leads but was very disappointed. but nonetheless, dont take my word for it... watch the movie and you'll see what Im talking about.

this is a stupid review... how can you judge the movie based on that clip... the soundtrack is the best and people need to listen first and watch first and forget about what these idiot critics have to say because that is why bionic flopped because the critics meanwhile that album was amazing. fun and different from herself, the stylings of a truly versatile artist.

I just have to say: LATimes, you'll eat your words :D

I loved this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have been a Christina fan for about 10 years (since 6th grade). I have been waiting for the release of this movie. I had heard Christina say she was waiting for the right part for her to take a movie roll; well she made a very good decision. This role was excellent for her!!!!! The movie was A+ in my book and I cannot wait for it to come on DVD. Christina I just want to say you did a wonderful job and Your awesome! Love ya Girl!!! Keep it up!

I saw the Movie last night. I am not basing my comment on a trailer alone. Yes I am a Cher fan and have always thought Xtina to be the most talented girl to emerge from the teen pop diva explosion of her generation. But this does not save her from critisism. I was afraid she would fall into the Mariah Carey Glitter catagory. However I think it was quite the opposite. She was lovely, likable and believable. Yes the story was just a retelling of the small town girl making it big in the big city. But for her first major movie role I thought she was wonderfull. Cher is always enjoyable to watch and at her age I congradulate her on her daring costumes and diva presence. Its true that some critisize because they can and truly want people to fail. This critic is one such person. This movie will not win either an oscar but it certainely wont hurt they're careers. I enjoyed it thououghly and I think most of you who like these women will be thrilled when u see it

Are you crazy? Film is VISUAL. Not every movie has to be solely about the plot. You can read a book for that. Granted the plot was predictable, but this movie was a VISUAL FEAST. Cher hasn't lost anything in the voice department as so often happens with singers as they age. And she can act. Aguilera is an amazing peformer. She excelled in what she does best...sing. I think that it's interesting that the critics are so hard on this film and that the viewers loved it. It's the people that go to see a film that determine how successful it is. I saw it yesterday with my daughter and her grandmother and today I'm taking my husband to see it. I've never done that before. So suck it up critics.

This is a crazed review. The movie is GREAT! I love it. Saw it two days in a row along with 15 of my closest friends/relatives. We loved it as much the second time as the first. Great music. Great cinematography. Great fun story. Go see it now!!!!!! I am going to go again, and will purchase the DVD as soon as it is released.

I don't understand all the negativity coming from the "professional" reviewers. This was a very entertaining movie.....and it lives up to the definition of burlesque....you can look it up. The reviewers are wrong on this one. It's fun, and the dancing/aerobics are enviable. Go see it

Cher turns back time for our daughters and youth of today. Yes once you have earned fame and fortune you too can dance on stage and dress like a poor human trafficked slave girl for men. As for Christina Aguilera I would expect nothing else from an abused women.

Come on now women....is this the equality we fought for?

mnbelair 10 minutes ago

Lol @ "beyonce is the exception". Okay(!)

This Movie is actually a HIT , great and very entertaining , Honestly I did LOVE IT , and all this critics that have nothing good to say about it is because they don't have that artistic view , The MOVIE name is BURLESQUE the idea is to show what burlesque dance is all about and base on somebody that have lots of talent like Christina (ALI) , I don't understant some people here that said the movie lacks on caracter ... COME ON What type of trama are you looking for ????..." Not all good movies are always the sad ones"... This movie it's FULL of Talent and is FUN!!!


Just saw this movie!!! It was excellent. People can bash Christina A all they want but you can't deny the fact that that gal can SING! Great movie! Cher is a legend & it was wonderful to hear her sing & to see her up on screen. Really no complaints other than would have liked some more Eric Dane! Never have watched Grey's Anatomy but that man is a hunk. Will DEFINITELY see this again!

this movie was fantastic. the singing and the dancing was amazing. after all, it is a musical movie! it blew all those other singing/dancing movies out of the water in my opinion. and i actually liked christina's acting better than cher's.


I have seen this film and it is VERY good. Both Cher and Aguilera do fantastic jobs. It is far better than a "Coyote Ugly" remake, it has depth, comedy, and drama. That alone is something Mariah Carey couldn't touch in "Glitter" or "Tennessee". If I could rate it, it would be a one hundred out of ten. The movie has surprises on every turn, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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