24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

« Previous | 24 Frames Home | Next »

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.

Recent and related:

Preview review: 'Yogi Bear' may be a sandwich short of a full picnic basket

Preview review: Ben Affleck goes to town

Preview review: With powerful trailer, 'The Social Network' becomes a fall front-runner (in July)

Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

Comments () | Archives (55)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I will see it just for Christina. Love Bionic. Her voice is unbelievable.

I can't imagine why Cher would do something like this, except that maybe she thought it might "resurrect" her once stellar acting career. Don't know if I'm going to bother with this or not.

I will see just for Christina!!!!!!!!! Luv u!!

I actually thought Christina acted well in this preview, dare I say better than Cher. Wasn't sure before this but I will definitely be watching now.

Christina's fantastic. What a bitter, jaded writer! It's a trailer and ALL of the stars are really turned out in it.
Christina's performance looks fresh and subtle.
You clearly have nothing better to do, if you get THIS negative after 2 minutes of pleasant film, so, go on hating the world.

I actually think she does alright, and you cant fairly judge just on a preview thats pretty lame and lazy.

Wow, this film makes Mariah Carey's Glitter look like an academy award winning movie. This looks absolutely horrible, I predict a Five Million dollar bow from the box office! This is Steve Antin's second film that he has decided to direct, and his last was "The Good Mother(The Glass House)" which was direct-to-video. So that should tell you something of the quality of this film there.

I definitely will see this movie. It looks great and I know a lot of Christina fans will be there to support her. Sorry you have made such a negative review from on small preview. "I will see it just for Christina... " will make the judgment.


I hate when "journalists" write such articles.If you write such an article and make such a poll then you're not a journalist,you're a joke.
I will go to see this movie and the main reason is Christina Aguilera.She is a talented artist that deserves more respect

Sorry this looks real awful.

I can't wait to see this movie. What happened to all the decent critics?. Lately, there are just a bunch of haters and losers writing like jealous high school teens. If you don't like Xtina or Cher, then why do you bother to write about their movie and biasly judge from a short preview. But then go on to praise the male cast just because you are in heat. No all movies are about serious subjects. Get a life girl.

they left out Mandy Moore, with a huge success on becoming a pop star turned serious MOVIE actress. Mandy I take more serious than I will ever Xtina. Stick to doing music please, people just don't care much for Christina anymore because she is over shadowed BADLY by THE LEGEND BRITNEY SPEARS. Too bad, this will probably go straight to DVD / BluRay

IT'S A HOLIDAY MOVIE for pete's sakes. Get over yourself.

I think it's funny how this is all played out to blame Christina for a terrible movie. If it does well and turns out amazing, you'll thank Tucci and Cher. If it bombs, you'll try to blame it on Christina Aguilera's acting.

Either the media truly wants her to fail or they know she's got what it takes and wish she would push more. She could build a movie career based off of lousy romantic comedies a la Jennifer Aniston or she could approach acting by gradually taking on movie after movie until she builds up her craft to do more serious roles. I mean, that's the practical way of doing things.

I don't understand how people can say Christina's 'trying-so-hard' based on a trailer. A movie lasts more than an hour and Christina may or may not surprise us.

I'm sorry but I thought I just read a blog but no! This is freaking LATimes.

This is not journalism. It's so sad that writers right now just try to write something like a blog post.

I know pop divas don't really have a great track record but this article is surely not the best brand of journalism you can offer.

This movie looks AWFULLY GOOD! My type of movie. Campy dialogue, music, dance and pop divas! What more can a future cult classic ask for? This lands right up there along with Showgirls, Moulin Rouge, and yes Glitter. All of which, my friends and I host movie nights for, complete with drinking games. These movies are for fun. Change your poll for the people who are going to be entertained rather than all of sudden become acting teachers and judges. Sheeze. No one has fun anymore. I take that back. I do! I'm gonna be in the theater somewhere after a fun happy hour. I cannot wait!

Movie trailers are produced and cut together in order to entice audiences and critics to see a movie. So my first point of contention would be with those saying you can't blame the stars in the film for a cliche trailer. Odds are most likely that if a trailer is already cut together poorly, there will not be much care taken in the movie itself. Second, I like how anyone who may raise a potential negative about the film is a "hater," but those who are super excited for it are blind "lovers" who are unable to see things subjectively. That's great that you love Christina so much that you'll see the movie. That does not mean the movie will be good. And singing well, and even being a great stage performer does not always mean acting well. They are all separate skills that require years of experience and some innate ability.

From the trailer, it does appear that the movie falls back on cliches, and that Christina Aguilera was hired for voice and star appeal rather than acting ability. The dialogue is trite and forced, and the glitz, glamour and costumes seem to be masking a lack in other areas. She may be a talented artist, as one commenter said, but that does not leave her free from criticism. You do the people you admire a diservice if you never ask them to push themselves and be better than they are.

you know I dont understand why there is so much HATE for CHRISTINA AGUILERA she is the best of all the wannabe pop tarts and she is the best for a reason she can sing like no other "THE VOICE OF HER GENERATION' and many to come. This movie will show that, only in a different perspective and its looking to be a great movie. Also Bionic the LP is a great pop record with all the different twist that we know La Aguilera can do. If you like great music go out and get it younger than 18 you should get the censored copy and you will enjoy it like every one else. I cant wait to see Christina live in concert she is the BEST live performer from the past decade and no one can argue with that.

This movie looks so bad. :( Christina is having her Glitter-era, I see.

I cant wait for this movie, i love Christina, love her musice, her voice, her looks and i know she will pull this off, she never fails.

Usually not my type of movie;
and honestly, I didn't really expect Christina to be a good actress.
But this trailer looks good.
I think I will probably go and check this movie out!

"What happened to all the decent critics?" I agree. There is subjectivity and then there is just this "But then go on to praise the male cast just because you are in heat." Which I also agree with. If the only pro's she can pull out is "good chemistry" and hunk from Grey's Anatomy...we already very well know what is on this critics mind.

It's going to be tough for any pop star taking a transition into the acting world. I think the most important thing is that--whether they are singers or actors-- both are jobs for entertainers and both have gained a certain level of comfortableness in front of the camera. That alone should be taken into consideration. Christina shines in front of the camera. Although the plot doesn't look enough to reel me in, Christina Aguilera alone is enough to do just that. I don't understand why Cher would have to save the movie for Christina when her character appears to have the cheesiest lines of all, as you pointed out.

I don't think any of her fan's are blinded about whether or not the movie will be good or not. They are just happy to have someone they enjoy on the screen doing what she enjoys for more than an hour. And who knows, there are people who genuinely enjoy these type of "normal small town girl to daring talented star" movies. There are some people who aren't as critical and are simply there to see a movie, not there to nitpick at every little detail without looking at it from other sides.

Sure everyone has their opinions about things but there's one thing to be critical with good reason and another to flat out say something is going to be terrible because the actress "trying so hard."

Note to wanna-be movie critics, if you go into every movie thinking it will be terrible, I assure you, you will never be disappointed when you are correct. In fact, you might actually pay attention to something else for a change that you wouldn't have noticed before when you were so busy being distracted by your hopes shattering and your mind whispering about how bad and disappointed you were about the film. You might notice that it's actually better than you expected. Gee. See what getting the "hate" out of the way first might do for you. Because honestly, you movie critics all think everything is terrible if its not about something like war, not based in another country or if someone doesn't die at the end like a martyr.

''I can't imagine why Cher would do something like this, except that maybe she thought it might "resurrect" her once stellar acting career''

Bitch please, Cher's acting career has always been stellar.

That's all.

I will diffently see this flim, it looks better then nine which did really bad in theaters which had a lot of A list actress. Cher is a icon of course this movie is going to make bank. But also Xtina is a champion her album is incredible but critics just dont get in tune with the music they just go with the flow and write about things that they feel.

I will check out the movies because im interested in seeing xtina show off her acting skills, i dont think a critic is going to tell me what to watch and that is your opion.


''I can't imagine why Cher would do something like this, except that maybe she thought it might "resurrect" her once stellar acting career''
Bitch please, Cher's acting career has always been stellar.

That's all.

Posted by: Paris Harvard | 08/09/2010 at 02:21 PM

Ha Ha. Paris is right. Cher rocks and always has. Cant wait to see her divaness on the big screen again.

1 2 3 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: