Second Take: Burlesque
De Line Pictures’ musical Burlesque is a lot like a sugar-coated cupcake with bright frosting and multicolored sprinkles. The film’s initial appearance is that of pure, sweet bliss, yet as soon as you take a bite, you realize the rest of your treat is as bland and devoid of real taste as Cher (co-headliner for this flick). Burlesque is great to look at, but the film lacks substance, especially with a plot consisting of every cliché in the book.
There is no doubt in my mind Christina Aguilera possesses killer pipes, drop-dead good looks and average acting abilities, but even her glittering presence isn’t enough to raise Burlesque out of the depths of mediocrity. Aguilera struts her stuff in glitzy and gaudy costumes while dancing to various up-tempo musical numbers, which is a treat for music aficionados and males with eyeballs, but unfortunately, she is the only bright spot in Burlesque. The rest of the characters are unconvincing, walking, talking clichés who don’t make up for the barebones plot. This film lacks any shred of even semi-originality. How the Burlesque screenwriters could be content with their work is beyond me.
It is painfully apparent throughout Burlesque that the film is trying to be the next Chicago or Moulin Rouge. Burlesque sadly doesn’t come close to either of these films, and it shouldn’t even be uttered in the same sentence as them. If you want some bright lights, glitter and some cool dance routines, I highly recommend Burlesque and guarantee you won’t be disappointed. But if you want a musical with actual depth and significance, skip it and rent one or two of the aforementioned (better) musicals instead.