Skippy Goes To The Movies!: “Burlesque” December 4, 2010Posted by Skippy in Movies.
Tags: FAIL!, movies, trainwrecks
Children, it’s been a while since I’ve been utterly bored in a movie. I would like to find something good to say about “Burlesque,” but it’s really a failure from start to finish. And it shouldn’t have been. Clearly, the producers, directors and writers thought, “Hey, Cher and Christina Aguilera–it’s a can’t miss!” I’m sure they also thought, “What we’ll make is a movie that will become a cult classic!” After all, it worked for “Showgirls,” didn’t it? Frankly, “Burlesque” is bad—not in the “so-bad-it’s-good” way. It’s just bad. It’s bad because of too many implausibilities that the audience is forced to swallow. It’s bad because of the atrocious writing. It’s bad because of the lackluster acting.
Ok, so the “plot” (such as it is) is that some girl named Ali (Aguilera) leave Iowa to pursue her dream of…something…in Los Angeles. The audience is forced to endure a stupid plot set up in which Ali is a Plucky Girl With Heart working in a dead-end job in Iowa (where in Iowa? Who cares—the writers certainly don’t). She steals money from her ogre of a boss and, after an opening set in which Aguilera belts out a forgettable tune, goes to Pursue Her Dream. Blah, blah, blah, she happens upon this club—it’s like she’s happened upon The Shire! Anyway, she’s entranced by the burlesque show (apparently, no one in Iowa has ever heard of burlesque), and, because she’s Plucky, after Tess (Cher) basically kicks her plucky ass to the curb, she finagles a job as a waitress where she meets Jack (Cam Gigandet), who is from Kentucky. In the world of Los Angeles, Iowa and Kentucky might as well be the same damn state, because Ali and Jack act like they’re from the same damned region of the country.
Blah, blah, blah, Ali’s hotel room gets burglarized and she winds up staying with Jack. She makes an enemy out of Nikki (Kristen Bell, in a horrible bit of miscasting), but is able to rise above Nikki’s attempt at sabotage and becomes the star of the show. Her pluckiness pays off! More blah, blah, and she and Jack “fall in love” (read: have boring, stupid sex)—but alas! Their path to true love is interrupted by Diana Agron, in a useless cameo as Jack’s “fiance” and an almost useless subplot involving a real estate mogul played by Eric Dane. Never fear, moviegoer: she is conveniently disposed of in a few lines by Jack at the end of the movie, after Plucky Ali saves Tess’s endangered club.
Good god, this movie is so completely predictable, I had figured out nearly every stupid plot twist well in advance of their happening. And in between the stupid plot twists, we are forced to endure insipid “burlesque” routines. At one point in the movie, Cher has an inexplicably annoying ballad. It is literally shoehorned in between acts.
And can I rant about these one-dimensional characters? Tess is an idiot. She whines about almost losing her club, but she doesn’t do jack fucking shit to save it. She’s bitchy to Plucky Ali for no reason whatsoever—other than the stupid plot requires it. She’s lazy, self-indulgent, and a piss-poor business owner. And just how fucking old is Cher? Her face is pulled back so tightly, she literally could not express an emotion. After a while, I realized that Cher reminded me of…
Fig. 1: She’s one more plastic surgery away from this.
Plucky Ali is just plain annoying. She acts all farm-fresh and innocent, but come the fuck on. It’s Christina Aguilera, who constantly gives off a slutty vibe. Clearly, Aguilera can’t act, but it’s clear that you’re not supposed to focus on that—you’re supposed to root for her because you’re supposed to root for her, especially after she overcomes Nikki’s attempt at sabotage.
Which brings me to Kristen Bell being in this movie. Oh, my Spock, this was some of the worst casting I’ve ever seen. She really had no business being in this movie, and dyeing her hair black didn’t work for one minute. Watching her try to be super bitchy was completely distracting.
But none of the above characters were as annoying as Cam Gigandet’s Jack. Holy fuckballs on a stick, I wanted to shoot this annoying ugly bag of mostly water. We’re supposed to buy him as “attractive,” but I got stuck at “manorexic ferret.”
Fig. 2: What about this man is supposedly “attractive”?
I’ve never seen a guy who is both muscular and emaciated—at least not until I saw “Burlesque.” I kept wanting this guy to start eating so he could fix that chicken chest of his. And then I wanted him to shut the fuck up, sack up, and get a clue. His character is so damned stupid—sensing a theme here?—that he allows Plucky Ali to commandeer his bedroom in his apartment. WTF?
To call this movie a disappointment would imply that I had any kind of expectations of this movie. As I said above, it was worse than “Showgirls.” At least that movie has the kind of implausibilities that make the movie entertaining—especially if you’re three sheets to the wind. “Burlesque” has none of those qualities. The acting in “Showgirls” is so bad that it is over the top, but “Burlesque” attempts to create depth by having characters spout one-line platitudes and belt ballads. Seriously?
In sum, avoid this movie. Shun it. Hell, don’t even bother with this crapfest when it comes out on DVD. Get some friends, get drunk, and watch “Showgirls” instead.