Friday, June 10, 2011

Burlesque (2010)

Aguilera does the can't-can't

- Pop music sensation and Super Bowl XLV "Star Spangled Banner" slayer Christina Aguilera stars as Ali in this worthless mess of a poor excuse for celluloid trash entitled Burlesque (dramatic echo).

Ali, a runaway small-town waitress trying to make it big as a singer in Los Angeles, stumbles across a struggling burlesque club owned by former burlesque attraction Tess (played by the long-expired Cher). Before anyone starts to wonder why the Tess' burlesque club is struggling - besides the fact that it features the cheesy, classless, and outdated vaudevillian act that a burlesque show is - the 64-year-old Tess is a regular performer at the club.... Any more questions? I thought not.

Now, waitressing would be a preferable profession for Ms. Aguilera – as she cannot act to save her soul. Half of the time, the viewer is not even sure what emotion Aguilera is trying to express in a scene. When she first blunders her way into the burlesque club, one cannot distinguish Aguilera's facial expressions as an articulation of a fascination with the burlesque show or a lustful desire for the scantily-clad burlesque performers themselves.

Anyway, as you may have guessed, Ali is suddenly zapped with the dream of one day becoming a burlesque performer at the club. Naturally, Tess refuses because, on top of having no dancing experience, Ali looks to have about the same level of intelligence as a burnt slab of Alpine Ash.

Oh no! What will Ali do now? Don't worry - while Ali has no job and no place to live, she has white skin, blonde hair, a skinny waist, huge jugs, and a nice pair of gams. Did anyone really think something bad was going to happen?

Impressed by her assets, the club's head barkeep and feminine-looking Teddy Gram Jack (played by a lifeless Cam Gigandet) lets Ali waitress in the club without pay and gives her his couch to sleep on. At first Ali thinks Jack is gay (and she is in good company, because we all did) but she learns that Jack is, in fact, straight – actually engaged to a woman who is trying to make it as an actress on the other side of the country. Oh, and he is also a struggling musician – go figure. Now, try and figure how this situation will pan out… Will they fall in love? Will he write a pathetic song for her? Will they have a falling out only to get back together at the end of the movie in a maddening melodramatic movie manner? Go on, I bet you will never guess.

From here, what follows is about as plausible as Bill Clinton quitting cigars. Studying library books at home (or rather, Jack's home) and absorbing the dancers' routines while handing out drinks and trying to escape goose pinches from the other customers, Ali suddenly becomes an expert of the art of burlesque. And when the burlesque club starts auditioning new dancers, Ali jumps at the chance.

Look out world! Ali will not take "go away, weirdo" for an answer – she means business, dancing some bizarre number that somehow impresses Tess who for some reason gives Ali a spot in the lineup. But will Ali stay dedicated to the dying club and her newfound friends when she realizes her dreams? More importantly, will the viewer have the intestinal fortitude to make it through the entire film without prematurely sending it back to the Redbox in a bow?

Burlesque has got to be one of the worst films that I have ever seen – it is just awful, a real bottom-dweller. If you have promptly deduced that Burlesque is an unwatchable cheese-fest with the thematic value of a flipbook and the sophistication of a Go Daddy commercial, then I have done my job.

CBC Rating: 2/10

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