Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tossing Sequins In Our Eyes: Burlesque Movie Review


I almost made it through Burlesque last night. Almost. A little over an hour in, I caved. Now, I'm a musical kind of girl. My DVD shelves are littered with Camelot, How To Succeed in Business, Phantom of the Opera, Oklahoma (two versions--one with Hugh Jackman!), Rent, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, tons of Sondheim shows, and I want to say three copies of The Sound of Music. That's barely putting a dent in the collection. Some are good, some are bad, and some are so bad they're good. This one was just so bad it was hilarious, and I made it through Nine, for crying out loud!

I wasn't planning to do a full-on movie review, but why not? I've gotten this far. Let's see...the plot was cliche and totally predictable. A small town innocent packs up her dreams and moves to L.A. with nothing but a handfull of dollar bills and a photo of her dead mother (who will be shoved down our throats anytime there's a need for us to feel any sort of emotion toward said small town innocent). Ali (short for Alice) is somehow cosmically drawn to the seedy, but exceptionally well-choreographed Wonderland (yes, they went there) of the Burlesque Lounge, where she forces her way into a waitressing job, then ultimately onto the stage, where she is realized for the talent she is, and becomes the star of the show. Yay for Ali. Meanwhile, there's a boozy, witchy diva to outshine, and a love triangle between Ali, her best guy friend, and the handsome villain. Oh, lest I forget, they've also got to raise enough money to keep the Burlesque Lounge out of foreclosure. I couldn't tell you if they beat the bank, since I never made it that far, but I'd bet money those plucky dancers saved the day, and probably at the very last second.

It's a train wreck, but Lordy, it's a fun train wreck. The choreography is fantastic, the numbers are hysterical (in a good way) and down-right hot. I don't personally care for Christina Aguilera's style of singing, but you can't argue that the girl's got pipes. Cher sounds amazing, and her heartfelt solo, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me", would be absolutely wrenching in any other less ridiculous context. I also admired the placement of the musical numbers. So many movie musicals have people inexplicably bursting into song. Here, all numbers were confined to the stage, and had dramatic purpose. If only this could have been an all-star Burlesque show! How awesome would that have been?!

Since they did make it a movie, with actors and dialogue and all that jazz, at least they got Stanley Tucci. I swear, that man makes everything better. Poor Peter Gallagher and Alan Cumming were completely underused. I kept hoping and praying they'd let Alan Cumming do something onstage; then they did, and I remembered to be careful what I wish for. Eric Dane makes for a charmingly sleezy bad guy, and Cam Gigandet, as love-interest, Jack, is ruggedly vulnerable, and looks very nice without a shirt. Christina Aguilera is not an actress, but you could tell she really put some effort into her acting, and I have to give her credit for that. Honestly, the writing didn't do anyone any favors. Not to post spoilers, but when all the "good guys" in the movie have sufficiently creeped you out, it's time to turn off the DVD and see what's streaming on Netflix.

This is a movie to laugh at, not with. I don't say that to be mean, either. This is the kind of movie that I can see people giving the Rocky Horror treatment. There are dozens of fabulous, glittery ensembles for cosplay, catchy songs for sing-alongs, and laughably fun lines to yell back at the screen. Case in point, my favorite of the movie: "If you fall off the stage, legs extended, boobs up!" Really, I think that pretty much sums up the whole film. It may be short on substance and long on style, but it plays that style to the gaudy, glamorous, rhinestone encrusted hilt.

Final Verdict: 2 out of 10. Make it a group night, pile on some glitter, and fast forward to the numbers.

Now, for the real reason for this post. Ali wears some excruciating gorgeous Louboutin's in the film:
Photo Credit: Third Avenue Princess
They don't exist in the real world (custom made for the movie, sad to say), but I found two great sites for seriously discounted real Louboutin's. Click here or here to get a pair for as little as $107 (still too rich for my blood, but definitely affordable by comparison). Here's the pair I'm dying for:
Photo Credit: The Best Christian Louboutin Outlet

1 comment:

  1. one of these days, one of those pairs of shoes will. be. mine.


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