the Buzz for November 26th, 2010


Christina Aguilera — “Show Me How You Burlesque”
(from Burlesque [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]) — Show Me How You Burlesque - Burlesque (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

On the Waterfront it is most certainly not. But A and I took in a screening of Burlesque — the new showstopping movie musical starring uber-divas Cher and Christina Aguilera — the night before Thanksgiving, and found it to be two hours of good, trashy fun. Essentially, it’s Coyote Ugly on the left coast: instead of Violet, our heroine’s name is Ali; and instead of Jersey, she hails from Iowa; and instead of dancing on a bar, she dances on a stage; and instead of being a songwriter, she’s a singer who falls in love with a songwriter. Considering that the lion’s share of the action centers on beautifully becleavaged dancers in a seedy-ish Los Angeles nightclub (translation: boobies galore, urry scary last one of them thrust up toward the heavens), the film is surprisingly tame; indeed, the only outright nudity I can recall is the brief glimpse we get of actor Cam Gigandet’s supple, beauteous backside just prior to the nubile ingenue’s requisite tender deflowering. Still, Aguilera proves to be a stunningly capable actress — true enough, she’s smarly surrounded by pros who prop her up at every turn, including Veronica Mars‘ Kristen Bell (playing smashingly against type as a hard-assed alcoholic dancer livid by the sudden arrival of a corn-fed rival), Stanley Tucci (the gay costumier who, in a fun twist, stumbles across a little happiness of his own), and the indomitable Cher (and you’re fuckin’-A right, we still love her when she’s 64) — and that patented over-the-top, blast-through-the-boombox vocal style — the same one that tends to make her albums, on the whole, such tough slogs — fits right in in this fanciful milieu, particularly on tracks like “Show Me,” the film’s triumphant closing number, which allows the astonishingly gifted Aguilera a shot to loose her emotional bondage and let all the good stuff fly, honey.