Set in: Cher
Netflix Rating: 3.8 Chers.
Well, this might be a bit of stretch, as using the word “plot” in terms of this film is a bit like saying the wind flowing over a beautiful forest, shaking it’s verdant leaves, has a “plot”. How can you explain something that just is? Something so elemental and wild, so natural, as Burlesque? You can’t, that’s the answer. But I must try, because that is MY DUTY *clutches sword to chest and charges bravely forward*
Oh yeah, and SPOILER ALERT.
Right, Burlesque starts with Christina Aguilera in the small town she grew up in, working in a bar where the boss won’t pay her, because America really needs a viable union movement. This issue is expertly side stepped as Christina legit commits a crime by stealing cash from the register to go to LA, to follow her DREAMS (here’s a top tip Christina, your dreams are best LEFT ALONE, like white heads or that couple who seem determined to eviscerate each other at a dinner party).
Christina Aguilera’s character has a very good singing voice, which she wants to make money from in some way because at the end of the day, aren’t we all whores? This film doesn’t bother setting up contrived scenarios in which she can show it off (unlike every film that Zooey Deschanel quirks all over) and instead just shoehorns it in unrealistically, which honestly is much less annoying. So yes anyway, in LA Christina wombles about a bit and ends up in a burlesque (otherwise known as “stripping for the middle class”) club that’s RUN BY CHER. And my GOD Cher looks amazing. It turns out that the unconditional love of the entire gay community does bloody wonders for your skin.
Christina looks all dreamy eyed at the performance on stage which seems to involve absolutely every gorgeous woman the world has ever produced and Cher as the queen of them all. It’s really good, I like it a lot. Until there’s a shot of the band, who are a nightmare of half grunge beardy pricks. They are in the film for about 15 seconds and my hatred of them VISCERAL.
See? I’m not wrong, am I? AND the barman, who is the not-at-all predictable love interest, wears EYELINER. For fucks sake. Take it from a girl who spent her entire youth trying to get off with men like the ones who apparently populate this club, these guys are the WORST. And as far as make up on men goes, I say go big or go home.
^^^ That is how you do it, lads.^^^
Well anyway, Christina shows GUMPTION because that’s how the American dream works and gets a job collecting glasses, hoping she’ll be able to wheedle her way on stage. And in a moment that made me squeal with happiness, it becomes clear that Stanley Tucci is in this film! And he’s best friends with Cher! Is there anything that’s ever felt more RIGHT and NATURAL? It turns out the club is having some kind of financial trouble which is enough of a storyline to give this film an excuse to exist, although I must admit it’s pretty touch and go on that front.
Christina ends up moving in with the eyelinered barman because reasons and manages to get on stage as a chorus girl. But one of the other dancers, who’s a BITCH with a DRINK PROBLEM (booo!) takes a dislike to Christina because she’s jealous. She sabotages one of her performances by cutting out the audio that the girls have to lipsync to. BUT THEN! Christina shows she’s got pipes by singing the song instead! And she doesn’t have a microphone and the club is a pretty big place but this presents absolutely no problem because who needs a microphone when you have the power of song.
A very rich man, who I have affectionately dubbed the Evil Real Estate Alpha Cock, becomes interested in Christina while trying to buy Cher out of the bar she loves. You know he fancies Christina because he gives her a lift home but drives off in another direction and forcibly takes her back to a party at his mansion. The films presents this as if it’s absolutely fine and even a bit charming because apparently kidnap is romantic now, but I feel it’s my public duty to warn men that if they were to do this most women would take it QUITE BADLY, in a thinking they are about to get murdered kind of way.
Unfortunately, the barman she lives with ALSO fancies her, and she fancies him, but he has a fiancée that lives in New York. Oh no!!! But it’s ok, because very VERY conveniently this fiancée is a selfish bitch, and we know this because Stanley Tucci says to the barman that unlike his current girlfriend, Christina is “beautiful inside AND out”. There is literally not one moment in the film that backs up this claim, in fact I’m not sure she does anything truly nice for anyone, but nevermind. To show his affection the barman keeps staring at Christina with his tiny, tiny eyes and it’s super creepy and I hate him. I also hate the “chemistry” between them. It’s bad chemistry, like the kind that makes Mustard Gas.
Gross. Things kind of trundle along, and the film is very much saved by the fact there’s fun dancing and singing (which is probably my number 1 requirement when I’m judging whether a film is good or not) to break up how boring everything is. Christina’s rival, the bitchy girl, is basically this for the next hour-
- and tells Cher that she slept with her husband (*LARGE INTAKE OF BREATH*) and Cher’s like “how many times have I held your head over a toilet while throw up everything but your memories” which is something I can relate to. And Christina and the barman finally get together after he flirtily strips off and eats biscuits (phwoar!) in front of her, which is a VERY brave move as if it turned out that she wasn’t interested, he would have just made an indifferent woman look at his penis.
Cher and Christina manage to save the club from impending financial doom in a way that’s so stupid that I can’t even be bothered to explain it, the barman dumps his apparently horrible fiancée (although we’ll have to take Stanley Tucci’s word for it on this one) and Christina creates a grudgingly respectful truce with the bitchface woman. Then they all have a big song and dance! THE END.
My Opinions: There’s not really much to say here. The film is as predictable as a Jeremy Kyle one liner, massively clichéd and horribly contrived, but it doesn’t care! And I don’t think we should care either. IT DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. Burlesque! *flicks hair and pretends Cher has given me a knowing smize of of approval*
Did Netflix Get The Rating Right? Eh, not really. It’s a 2.5 star film at best, but I’ll give it a pass because CHER.