by Ishbel Beeson
If you’re looking for something fun and frivolous which will give you a fuzzy festive feeling this Christmas then “Burlesque” is the film to see. Christina Aguilera stars as the small town girl who dreams big and moves to LA with hopes of finding fame and fortune. She stumbles upon a burlesque club owned by Tess (Cher) who reluctantly gives her a job as a dancer not realising that the girl can sing. And when I say sing, I mean they wouldn’t have a film without her “mutant lungs”. Aguilera is surprisingly likeable and convincing despite this being her acting début and she has to be given credit for her creative input on the movie’s soundtrack, having penned the lyrics to most of the songs herself. Cher, who no longer seems capable of moving a muscle in her face, still manages to convey emotion and proves she’s still got it, especially when she performs her live solo. The superb Alan Cumming has a brief appearance but, unfortunately, is very under-used.
“Burlesque” is a complete cliché from the very start – this is a story we are all familiar with and the plot is ridiculously predictable. Many elements also appear to have been unashamedly snatched from musical classics such as “Cabaret”, “Moulin Rouge” and “Chicago” but, unfortunately, “Burlesque” does not achieve the combination of underworld grime and glitter which the classics convey. The costumes, styling and sets are lavish and spectacular, creating a visual feast with more sparkle than “Strictly Come Dancing” and Waity Katie’s engagement ring combined. Not five stars and not something for the serious film buff, but if you’re a fan of musicals and Christina Aguilera, then you’ll leave the cinema in a great mood and will have the soundtrack stuck in your head until well beyond Christmas!