First Hit: Some great singing in a film with a thin plot. But is was very entertaining.
Cher has always been able to project something good with her singing. In her one full song, she knocks it out of the park.
Cher plays Tess half owner of a slowly fading Burlesque theater in Los Angeles. The other half owner is Vince (played by Peter Gallagher) her former husband. Unfortunately, the club is losing money and Vince is trying to find a way to get some money out of it for himself and Tess. His drive comes off as desperate and we never really know why.
But Tess “will never let the theater be sold”. All the girls lip-sync their songs except Tess. Their show is bawdy, clean and fun. In comes Ali (played by Christina Aguilera) who has ventured out from Ohio looking to find a place to sing and dance. She eventually gets her chance when Nikki (played by Kristen Bell) shows up drunk one too many times.
In a fit of anger Nikki unplugs the lip-syncing music and Ali is standing on the stage with no music. So, she improvises and finishes the routine by singing in her own voice. Of course she is a sensation and Tess decides to build a whole new routine around her.
Also Ali is attracted to an engaged bartender named Jack (played by Cam Gigandet). The scene stealer during the film is Stanley Tucci who plays Tess’ confidant and stage manager Sean. When he is on the screen he is the one who grabs your attention.
Cher is very good as the mothering woman who’s seen it all and knows what it is she wants to spend her time doing. Gallagher is good but there is no real depth as to why he’s so panicked about getting his money. Aguilera is wonderful as Ali and her voice shows flexibility and strength. She was perfect for this role. Gigandet was good as Ali’s romantic interest and they have some fun scenes together. Tucci is fabulous. He is the soul of the Burlesque house and this film. Steve Antin wrote and directed this film and for the most part he got it right except the ending number could not have been held in the club we first saw during the opening sequence. Somewhere continuity was lost.
Overall: This is very good entertainment – no more, no less.