Sunday, August 7, 2016


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good or bad. This week's pick is the 2010 musical drama...BURLESQUE.

Burlesque is the story of Ali (played by pop star, Christina Aguilera making her movie debut), a young girl who leaves her job as a waitress in a small Iowa town to pursue her singing and dancing dreams amid the big lights of Los Angeles. Ali quickly finds out how hard it is to get the job she wants. In the midst of her searching, she comes upon a burlesque club run by retired dancer,Tess (played by music icon, Cher). Tess along with her ex-husband/partner Vince (played by Peter Gallagher) has troubles of her own as her beloved club is about to be foreclosed on if she can't pay the arrears in her mortgage. Turned down for a chance to audition for Tess and her club manager Sean (played by Stanley Tucci), Ali makes friends with bartender Jack (played by Cam Gigandet) whom she bluffs into giving her a waitress job at the club. Bad times aren't over for Ali, as her apartment is broken into, her money stolen leaving her no where else to go but to crash on Jack's couch. Things turn around for her when she succeeds in an audition for Tess and starts working her way up, and eventually becomes the main attraction despite attempted sabotage by the diva, 'mean girl' Nikki (played by Kristen Bell. Though Ali's intense vocal range and elaborate interpretations of dance numbers turns out to be a godsend for Tess by bringing in larger crowds, the club is still in danger of being foreclosed on. It's Ali who saves the day for Tess and the club with something Ali learned from her brief fling with reach developer, Marcus (played by Eric Dane).

Premiering in theaters in 2010, Burlesque received mixed to mostly bad reviews. The movie had a production budget of $55 million, yet opening weekend saw less than a $12 million draw in box offices receipts. Critics had some tough things to say about this movie filled with a cliché-ridden plot held together with elaborate song and dance numbers. It was called totally ridiculous, utterly unbelievable and deliciously naughty as much as a PG-13 movie can be', 'boring and unimaginative', 'a trashy modern musical fairy-tale that is predictable, boring and full of clichés'.

Burlesque is definitely full of clichés, like the 'Ali thinks Jack is gay, but he isn't and that sets the stage for the predictable romance' trope. It's a fairytale in many ways as Ali and Jack fall in love and there is a happily ever after ending for everyone.

All of this is true, but I like Burlesque and not for those reasons. I like it for the music and for the chemistry between the characters that give them depth and life outside of the limits of the script. Christine Aguilera and Cher in particular light up the screen with their presences. Both have powerful singing voices that are filled with emotion that define their characters of Ali and Tess. Aguilera and Gigandet make the cliché ridden bantering between their characters come off as believable and likeable. The same with Cher and Tucci. I just find Burlesque to be a fun movie to watch if you aren't looking for something you have to think too much about and just want to be entertained.


Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Metacritic: 47%

Roger Ebert: 2/4


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