In Theatres: 
Nov 24, 2010
Running Time: 
100 minutes

Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Biel were also approached for the role of Nikki, but was ultimately handed to Kristen Bell.

 I'm a straight 21 year old male. Let's go ahead and lay that on the table for this one. Burlesque wasn't made for my demographic nor was it aimed to appeal others like me. Most people saw this trailer, threw their hands up and said "Abomination!", "Is this a joke?" and "Cher's still alive?". Well, those people aren't exactly correct. In fact, they're dead wrong. 

Burlesque starts off as your ordinary, cliche' story of a small-town girl wanting to make it big in the busy streets of Los Angeles. Ali (Christina Aguilera) leaves her hometown of Iowa behind and searches for the glamour and the fame of L.A where she can accomplish her dreams of singing and dancing. After searching through many locations for a singing job, she finds The Burlesque Lounge. On the outside, it's the run down building we've all seen on the worst street in town. But on the inside, Burlesque Lounge is filled with bright lights, smiling bartenders in all black and some of the most beautiful women you've ever seen dancing and lip-singing all over stage. This is Ali's true dream. The only person standing between her and a dream come true is Tess (Cher): An ex-dancer who runs the lounge and has lost most of her dreams and ambitions. Her only companion and hope in the world is her partner-in-crime, Sean (The always enchanting Stanley Tucci). In order to keep the Burlesque Lounge in business, Tess must make a deal with her ex-husband/co-founder, Vincent (Peter Gallagher), and a sly businessman, Marcus (Grey's Anatomys' Eric Dane). Tess must pump life back into the worn-out club before it's too late. But how?

Like I said, Burlesque starts off cliche'. So cliche', in fact, that I found myself using my hand as support for my disappointed head. But thankfully, Director Steve Antin (You may remember him as Troy Perkins from The Goonies) knows the #1 antidote for a cliche' storyline: Fill that sucker with some incredibly interesting characters! The lovable and passionate Ali. The worn-out diva with everything to lose Tess. The hilarious shoulder of support Sean. And the good natured bartender Jack. All of these characters and their interactions keep the momentum of the story at a fast pace and make you realize that you haven't seen anything like Burlesque. At times, I found myself laughing hysterically at the lightning quick responses from Sean and his ability to bring levity into any situation.  

But the laughs aren't the only reason people will be lured to see Burlesque this holiday weekend. The singing and dancing is what catches the most eyes once the trailer hit laptops and television sets. I'm not 100% positive on the singing on most of these girls but Cher and Christina Aguilera bring their A-game to this one and man, do they belt. I've been aware of their diva status in the music world, but they both prove why they belong where they are without a shadow of a doubt. Cher doesn't do much dancing here, while Aguilera isn't afraid to show a little (A LOT) of skin while shaking everything (EVERYTHING) she's got on stage. The dancing from the other ladies of the Burlesque Lounge are just as good and fit perfectly as a traditional Burlesque location. 

I'll tackle one other issue I'm sure is plaguing the minds of every person out there: Will my husband/boyfriend/straight-male friend enjoy this movie? Well, the answer is this: Absolutely. Take out the romance, the plot and the acting. What do you have? Incredibly attractive women dancing on stage wearing next to nothing. Honestly, your male-companion might be willing to take a bullet on this one. All joking aside, the characters are key for Burlesque. Men should find the hilarity of Stanley Tucci and Alan Cumming as more than deserving of their next 100 minutes in their respective theaters. But once again, the ladies don't hurt either. 

Not without it's minor flaws, Burlesque finds itself as a show stopper that aims to please the dreamer in all of us, mostly females, while bringing levity to our otherwise stressful lives. 

P.S-During the end credits, the cast sing a Burlesque cover of Marilyn Mansons' "Beautiful People". I'm not sure why you aren't already in line. 

Ryan Sterritt
Review by Ryan Sterritt
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