Burlesque 6.4 IMDB
Burlesque 37% Rotten Tomatoes
Well, here goes my first review. I sat down to watch Burlesque yesterday. My first thought: this is a cliche, trying to escape her small town, move to Hollywood, become a star, girl drama. It seemed to be a, middle of the road, union of Coyote Ugly and Show Girls. Both of which, in their own right, are terrible movies. So, no surprise, immediately, this appears to be a worthy candidate for HDTGM dissection.
This is a chick flick, through and through. Men simply can't identify with this type of story. Lets face it: a movie, in which a man packs up and moves from his home town to escape small town life and a dead end job, would be a three minute film of him tying his bootlaces together, tossing the footwear over a power line, followed by a shot of him driving away. Fini. Yes, this is a movie for chicks. Based on this realization, alone, this movie should never have been made. However, men are also horn dogs who enjoy looking at scantily clad, attractive, young women, in provocative poses. There's no denying, women aren't the target demographic for burlesque shows. So, in that sense, where the premise of the story and the acting fail, the movie, at least delivers for the men. They went to the theater and paid to see a burlesque show; the movie delivered on that count. This probably explains the 6.4 user rating on IMDB.
This movie had significant failings in it's plot. The biggest failing, for me, is the burlesque club itself. Firstly, you must suspend your disbelief that we live in a world where a club like this would even exist. Burlesque establishments are typically sexually deviant, back alley, basement dungeons. But the most flagrant, in your face, aspect of the club that causes you to instantly disconnect from an ability to care, is the fact that the finances and operation of the business are woefully mismanaged by Cher's character, Tess. Compounded, on top of delinquent payments of her property's multiple mortgages, a balloon payment that is due at the end of the month, she also has so many, unnecessary, expenses that are driving her into bankruptcy. A live band, for starters, when the vocals are lip synced?. Bringing the dancers expensive alcoholic beverages between numbers? These are reasons why Tess has no business running a business, and so I really don't give a fuck if she loses the club, in fact... I was hoping she would.
My 'What the Fuck Moment' was the scene where Cher does a solo rehearsal with her DJ. He pops in a compact disc--no need to include the band in a rehearsal--and she belts out a sorrowful ballad, that just so happens, to fit her mood at the moment. This is about as close to being a true musical that, Burlesque, could ever be. The problem is that the scene felt like it was a contractual obligation, between the studio and Cher, that they just wanted to get out of the way. Unfortunately, this isn't even a song that belongs in a burlesque show, and feels completely fucking alien to the rest of the film.
In the end, what we have, as far as a movie goes, is a two hour long string of choreographed hip-hop videos--comprising roughly 70% of the screen time--loosely strung together by an absurd plot, culminating as an excuse to see provocatively clad women prancing around a stage. So why did this movie get made? From budget to box office, the movie is about ten million in the red. For that reason alone, the movie should never have been made. I think this is probably a case of a studio that miscalculated the popularity of Cher and Aguilera in their ability to draw in an audience of their fans. The only redeeming value of the film, from a guy's perspective, was that there was plenty of hot women doing hot things to keep us from falling asleep. I'd just watch pornography, however, if that's what I was after. I've certainly seen porn with equally plausible plot lines.