"Burlesque"

I had wanted to see "Burlesque" ever since I saw its trailer, and so I was pleased when a Detroit-area screening became available approximately two weeks before it comes out in theaters. I expected that the combination of Cher and Christina Aguilera would be explosive, and it turned out that I was right.

Ali (singer Christina Aguilera) is working a dead-end job at a restaurant in her Iowa hometown when she decides to hop on a bus to Los Angeles, where she hopes to make it as a singer. She goes to a few auditions and then she sees a burlesque club, and decides to venture inside. She is amazed by the dancing and singing, and tries to get a job there; however, the proprietor of the club, Tess (actress/singer Cher, "Stuck on You"), says that she'll have to wait for auditions. Instead, she just picks up a tray and starts waitressing, and eventually Tess hires her as a waitress and, after they need a replacement dancer, a burlesque girl. Meanwhile, she's living with a bartender at the club, Jack (Cam Gigandet, "Easy A" and the pony-tailed hunk from "Twilight"), who is engaged, until she can find a place of her own, while being pursued romantically by Marcus (Eric Dane, TV's "Grey's Anatomy"), who wants to buy the club from Tess.

The singing and dancing in this movie were phenomenal. It reminded me of "Chicago" combined with "Moulin Rouge," although the setting was modern-day. It was refreshing to see Cher back on the big screen, and she had a few numbers as well as a solo that she sings. This is Christina Aguilera's first feature film as an actress, and you would never know it - she sings her heart out throughout the movie. When you add such supporting stars as Stanley Tucci ("The Lovely Bones") as Cher's gay best friend, Peter Gallagher (TV's "Covert Affairs) as her ex-husband, and Kristen Bell ("You Again") as another burlesque dancer who becomes jealous of Aguilera's character, you are practically guaranteed a hit movie, and "Burlesque" definitely makes ample use of these A-listers.

Yes, definitely see this film. It runs a little long - it's about two hours - but everything about it was excellent: it had a plot, it had singing and dancing, and the characters were even a bit complicated. I am sure Christina Aguilera will be booking many more movies after this one, and I would love to see Cher in another singing part again soon too.

"Burlesque" will be in theaters on November 24th.

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