I've never been one to listen to what critics have to say about movies. For the most part, I don't enjoy Oscar nominated films. "Jennifer's Body" is one of my favorite movies, and it's no secret that it bombed - critically and financially. But I just hold my head high and ignore the hate for movies I love (or want to love based on trailers.) As soon as I saw the trailer for "Burlesque," I knew I would have to prepare myself for all of the anti-"Burlesque" hate that was sure to come my way. If I've learned anything from all of my years reading movie reviews, it's that, for the most part, critics hate performance-based movies. Shall We Dance, Center Stage, Center Stage, Crossroads, Glitter... Fine, some of those movies aren't that great. But I still enjoy them.
"Burlesque," which has a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is the next film in the performance-based genre to be torn apart by critics... for basically no reason. Is it the best movie out there? No. Is it the next "Chicago"? No. Does it deserve to be called "worse than Showgirls?" Hell no.
True, it's predictable and cliche. And Christina Aguilera may not be winning any awards of the non-Razzie variety for her portrayal of Ali, but it's clear that this movie wasn't made for that. It's about the songs, it's about the dancing, it's about burlesque. While the plot is slow at times, all of the performances do more than make up for it. The soundtrack is flashy and sexy... and, I speak from experience, fun to dance/work out to in one's bed room, but the filming of these performances, also flashy and sexy, stand out with quick flashes of skin and sequins.
SIDE NOTE: I may be biased... I would see (and enjoy)ANYTHING featuring Kristen Bell. She can do no wrong. And yes, before you ask, I DID see "When In Rome." And I own it on DVD.
Some highlights of the film, besides musical numbers, include a VERY brief (but very memorable) appearance by Glee's Dianna Agron, who brings "Angry Bitch" to the big screen flawlessly. Adding to the "Bitch" quota of the film is Kristen Bell, who exchanges some great one-liners with Aguilera. Also, the friendship of Stanley Tucci and Cher's characters is one that both warmed my heart and made me laugh out loud - two qualities that any great relationship should have.
It also didn't hurt to have Christina's love interest in the film shirtless on more than one occasion. Especially since he is played by the Eye-gasm, Cam Gigandet. You will never hear me complain about a movie where I see his bare ass on my screen. Ever.
But no, the movie was NOT perfect. As stated before, the plot was slow at times. Also, there seemed to be big build-ups in some sub-stories, only to have the "climax" and resolutions less than fulfilling. For example, many characters warn Ali to beware of Eric Dane throughout the whole movie. He can't be trusted, etc... It turns out that he is looking out only for himself, but that's not nearly as exciting as having him attempt to rape her... which is what I thought was going to happen. Maybe it's just me? Besides that, it took me more than half the movie to realize it took place in the present. Based on Christina's awful hair and the song selection in the first half of the movie, I thought this was a 90's period piece. Incorrect.
Bad hair and no attempted rape aside, I loved this movie. But, see the movie and judge for yourself. And if you don't enjoy the movie, you can at least put on a pair of booty shorts and some knee socks and reenact some dance numbers while you listen to the soundtrack in your bed room. What do you think I've been doing as I typed this?