Musical cliché hits wrong notes

2011-01-24 00:00

THE prospect of seeing Cher and Christina Aguilera in the same movie is more intriguing than their actual turn in Burlesque, which turns out to be a laborious musical cliché.

Aguilera plays Ali, a small-town girl from Iowa who decides to leave her waitress job and head for LA. There she she finds a club run by Tess (Cher) who is struggling to pay the mortgage and could use an undiscovered talent to put bums on seats.

That's it really. The premise is as scantily clad as the singers/dancers in the club, but it dishes up a buffet of musical numbers, which are all entertaining but rarely memorable. One exception is Cher's thunderous delivery of Last of Me, which won her a Golden Globe award.

The sub-plots only serve to pad the 100-minute running time, and they feature playboy Marcus (Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane) who has his own agenda for the club, and bartender Jack (Twilight's Cam Gigandet), who is Ali's love interest.

Aguilera's vocal range is the showcase, and she's clearly more at home as a performer on stage than she is in front of the camera, although she lacks nothing for effort. The seasoned Cher, along with Stanley Tucci (playing his usual Devil Wears Prada support role), is at ease in a mother-hen type role. Tucci is perhaps under-used, providing some relief to the horrendously slow plot.

After all that, the two stars don't even perform together. Somewhat frustrating in a film which, despite powerful singers, hits a lot of wrong notes. **

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