We open on a street so sparse, in a town so small, one expects tumbleweeds to float by the diner where two young ladies are wasting their lives away as waitresses. Pop princess / diva / star, Christina Aguilera, is sitting on the counter top, staring off into the distance, looking forlorn and pensive. She announces that she’s got to get out of this town and before long, she is buying a one-way ticket to Los Angeles to become a star! There you have it. This is BURLESQUE, a new musical that steals (sorry, borrows would have been too generous a word to use here) from great movie musicals of the past, like CABARET, MOULIN ROUGE and CHICAGO (which incidentally all did it better), to showcase the vocal prowess of its star and transition her to the next inevitable level of her fame as a Hollywood actress.
BURLESQUE is simply too easy to be anything other than mediocre. About half way through the film, when Aguilera inevitably finds her voice after struggling to get noticed in L.A. and just after Cher finds out that if they don’t raise an obscene amount of money by a fast approaching date that the club will close, you are lulled into a state of complete familiarity. Your fate is accepted and BURLESQUE makes its way to its predictable ending without full-on disaster or wardrobe malfunction. Familiar means comfortable and while comfortable can be nice, it can also be easily forgotten. Simply put, BURLESQUE falls very flat when it was clearly aiming for busty.