Many reviews out there right now are panning Burlesque, and unrightfully so. The movie is good, I mean really good. The story revolves around the Burlesque lounge and it's occupants, namely the dancers, owner and the bar tender. It moves along at a brisk pace, never dwelling on one plot point too long, but also never forgetting it either.
As with most bad reviews, the performer who has the most screen time gets the bulk of the bad press. In this case that would be Christina Aguilera, and the fact is she isn't nearly as bad as everyone says she is. Will she got an Oscar nomination, probably not but for her first acting role she does a good job holding the movie together, and she and love interest (and bartender) Cam Gigandet share an easy chemistry together. Plus in one of the movies funniest, and sweetest scenes, Cam's Jack seduces Christinas Ally, fist by wearing PJ's his mama bought him then slowly piece by taking them all off, and seducing Ally with only a box of cookies to hide his joy stick. If you aren't enjoying the movie up until this point, well then you're dead inside but you get a treat as Cam bravely bares his booty.
Theres another musical powerhouse in the movie, and she goes by only one name: Cher. To say that this is Cher's comeback is a fallacy, this is Cher telling us she is still here and never left. Any actor or actress who shares a scene with her is automatically 20 times better, and thats no easy feat considering most of the actors were already doing a good job. Cher is the powerhouse that not only hold the movie together but brings it down with her ballad "(You haven't seen the) Last Of Me" Not only does she set a new standard in musical songs but she lets us know this song is more personal than the producers wanted it to be. Her Tess is everything you would expect her to be, tough, sarcastic, a diva. Yet theres a vulnerability that shines through when she fears losing her club, and thats what makes Cher, Cher. You never for one second believe she will lose the club but she makes you believe that even if for a brief second Tess does.
Kristen Bell is one of the most versatile actress' around, and in Burlesque her Nikki keeps things interesting. She's the ultimate villain, making nasty comments to anyone who she crosses paths with, except for Tess. in one scene Nikki breaks the cardinal rule of being nice to Tess, after Tess says she won;t fire Ally, Nikki claims to have slept with Tess' ex husband after the honeymoon and quits. Tess breaks the car window as Nikki speeds away. This could have been a silly scene except the actors sold it for what it was worth and made it work to their advantage.
When the holiday shopping stress has you to your breaking point, treat yourself to a movie and see Burlesque, I promise it'll help you relax and enjoy yourself.