April 10, 2011

#124: Burlesque (3/10)

I have become fairly pretentious about the films I watch, and Burlesque wasn't even considered to be worth my time. I am almost ashamed to admit I watched it. Even more so, I didn't hate it. Don't get me wrong, it is corny beyond belief, and cannot be taken seriously. Still... it has some entertainment value. It does feature Kristen Bell dancing around in her underwear, so that cannot be all bad... right?

I hadn't seen the great 2000 film Coyote Ugly since it first came out on dvd. I cannot speak to its quality, it has been so long. Burlesque felt like a straight remake of that film, with a slightly different setting, and a much less engaging protagonist... and overall much worse acting. Back when I saw Coyote Ugly I actually bought what was going on.  Burlesque felt more like a spoof of an actual movie.  Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci did an admirable job making their performances feel genuine, everybody else was ridiculous.

I didn't think I would enjoy Christina Aguilera in this film at all, and I was pretty much correct. I was surprised that she was able to tone down the sluttiness big time.  Back in the day her video for the song "Dirty" was basically the definition of "slutty". Not saying I didn't enjoy it.  In Burlesque she dances around in under-garments... pretty slutty no?  It actually wasn't whoreish in the least. She looked very pretty most of the time.  I never once thought she resembled a hooker/stripper.  Which is quite a feat considering the role requires her to pretty much be a stripper... minus the taking off clothes part. Hang on... there is definitely a part where she takes off her clothes.  Even more impressive that she avoids seeming like a slut. But Christina totally failed to engage my with this film anytime she wasn't singing. It was not a good performance.

The only thing worse than Christina was Cher. It was almost painful anytime she was on screen. Unfortunately she seemed to be on screen a lot. I would have have seen much less of her, and a lot more of Kristen Bell. Cher made this movie stink way more than it had to. when she was on screen it felt more like a joke than a film. I guess I didn't realize how bad of an actress she really was. Her role was supposed to bring some emotion to the screen, but it only succeeded at unintentional comedy.

Overall Burlesque was corny as hell. For some reason I embraced it stupidity and had a decent time watching it. There is nothing memorable or special about it. I still maintain that it is a poorer version of the Coyote Ugly plot. The entire thing is pointless, but sometimes that is okay. Don't expect anything out of it, and you will probably not-hate Burlesque.

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