Direction: Steven Antin
Cast: Christina Aguilera, Cher
Whether it’s Mariah Carey (Glitter) or Britney Spears (Crossroads), the transition from pop princess to big screen diva has been perilous at best. Clearly too, Christina Aguilera isn’t much of an actress but at least her debut film is cheesily entertaining.
The singing sensation portrays an ambitious small-town girl who, lured by the glamour and glitz of show business, arrives in Los Angeles. Landing a job as a cocktail waitress in run-down night club, the young starlet gyrates her way up the pole of success to
transform into the star attraction of the revue.
The script is riddled with clichés and derivative situations. Narrative contrivances abound. The club’s owner (Cher, last glimpsed in the 2003 comedy, Stuck on You) is faced with a monetary crisis which may lead to the establishment’s closure.
Enter a playboy property developer (Eric Dane) who conveniently happens to be wooing her lead performer. Meanwhile, a hunky barman (Cam Gigandet) is also smitten with the coquettish heroine.
Never mind these fettered romances, though. The rags-to-riches formula is just an excuse to spotlight Ms Aguilera’s vocal prowess.
Besides writing four songs for the film, she belts out her tunes with irresistible verve.
Splashy production design, lush costumes and dizzying dance routines bolster the overall impact. The showstopper is Cher’s rendition of “You Haven’t seen the Last of Me.” Burlesque may not be in the league of Cabaret or Chicago. But it’s certainly a camp extravaganza of song, dance, and all that jazz.