So, I've made it a personal rule of mine that when I'm flipping through Netflix or movie channels in this case, I will watch anything for 15 minutes and if it doesn't catch even the slightest bit of my attention, I will not finish it. I try to keep an open mind but sometimes there are just plain bad movies, due to poor writing or editing, or acting; I don't have time to sit through terrible films. But if they get me in that first act, I will sit through the whole thing, then judge it after the credits role.
Now that I've gotten all my cynical-ness out of the way, this (the first edition) is about Burlesque. So what I got out of the first 15 minutes of this movie is that Christina Aguilera's character Ali Rose (which I don't recall them formally introducing her by name) is a innocent Iowa native that moved to Los Angeles to be a singer and dancer. Why am I not surprised.
So after many assumed auditions, all you see is Ali walk out of buildings and "X" out classified adverts for "Dancer/Singer", she happens across a burlesque theatre conveniently names Burlesque. She enters and reluctantly pays Alan Cummings' character the $20 entrance fee and becomes mesmerized with the opening number performed by what looks like an all male punk band with a stand-up bass, scantly clad dancers and Tess, played by Cher.
Ali gets the low down on how to get a job there from the "too much eye liner" but obviously the love interest bartender Jack. She goes to talk to Tess and Stanley Tucci's character, Sean, and they both tell her to leave her number and to go away. On the way out of the theatre Ali sees that one waitress is too preoccupied to help a single customer and picks up a tray and starts taking orders. Fade to signify time passage and Ali now works there. No seriously, that's all we get.
And that's as far as I got. Now for the reason why I didn't go any further. (this will be in list form, because I'm feeling both lazy and forcefull right now)....
- The Writing - to put it nicely, the dialogue was terrible, a very little of it. The opening number at the theatre was called "Welcome to Burlesque" and the lyrics were as follows
Show a little more, / Show a little less, / Add a little smoke / Welcome to Burlesque, /
Everything you dream of, / But never can possess / Nothing's what it seems / Welcome to Burlesque,
Oh, everyone is buying, / Put your money in my hand, / If you got a little extra /well, give it to the band,
You may not be guilty / But you're ready to confess / Tell me what you need, / Welcome to Burlesque,
You can dream of Coco, / Do it at your risk / The Triplets grant you mercy / But not your every wish,
Jesse keeps you guessing, / So cool and statuesque / "Behave yourself" says Georgia / Welcome to Burlesque,
Oh, everyone is buying, / Put your money in my hand, / If you want a little extra, / Well, you know where I am,
Something very dark / Is playing with your mind / It's not the end of days, / It's just a bump and grind
Show a little more / Show a little less / Add a little smoke / Welcome to… Burlesque
I feel like any low level musical writer told to make a song about a burlesque theatre, rhyme, and make the song something about welcoming could have written this. I don't want to write anymore about this just because I may never crawl out of the hole I write myself into.
2. Cher - As usual, Cher looks plastic and sounds a little like a guy trying to sound like a woman trying to be 1980s Cher.
3. Christina Aguilera - I know this was her film debut, but you'd think that anyone could fake it. I was proven wrong. You would think that Aguilera's time in the Mickey mousse Club would help her show an array of emotions, but that training seemed to go out the window when she stepped on the set of Burlesque. during her walk around town and her scenes in the theatre she showed three emotions: wonder, disappointment, and "I can prove them wrong"; plus there were never any transitions between them, the emotions just disappeared then a new emotion appeared.
Now there was one thing that would have kept me watching: Stanley Tucci. And he might have been the only reason. He is a fantastic actor and he even made Cher seem like a real person made of flesh, bone, and blood cells. But alas, he was only on screen for all of 70 seconds total and always in passing of hidden behind Cher's hair. You almost had me Burlesque, you almost had me.
Was I too cynical, or did I make a good choice walking away from the television? Were there any good parts of the movie I missed? Should I have never started in the first place? Let me know in the comments.