A small town girl moves to the big city with aspirations of becoming a … burlesque dancer? That’s essentially the plot of “Burlesque,” Christina Aguilera’s acting debut and a movie that looks like a “Moulin Rouge” wannabe with a weaker cast and story.
Aguilera plays Ali Rose, who leaves Iowa for Los Angeles in hopes of building a better life for herself. She gets a job as a waitress at The Burlesque Lounge, a burlesque club run by a retired dancer named Tess (Cher), who has become frustrated by financial struggles and a lack of “real” dancers. Ali longs to be onstage, but Tess doesn’t think she has what it takes.
But when Ali shows off her big voice, Tess sees a star in the making. She joins the burlesque troupe and ultimately becomes its star, much to the dismay of leading lady Nikki (Kristen Bell). Will this small town girl save the club and find love in the process? Probably. Catchy tunes and high-energy dance numbers abound.
The music and dancing should be the main draw for this film. The choreography in the trailer looks strong, but the acting feels wooden for the most part (apart from Stanley Tucci, who can definitely do better than this). If Aguilera is looking for another venue to show off her voice, “Burlesque” was probably a good choice. She’s a very talented singer. But if she wanted to demonstrate her acting chops, she might ought to have gone in a different direction.
“Burlesque” will shimmy its way to theaters Nov. 24.
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