Serious Movie Lover

Wigs for All, Pants for None

By / Saturday, November 13, 2010 / Category: Review, Sneak Preview / 9 comments

Warning: Photo may cause epileptic seizures.

BURLESQUE (2010/IN THEATERS) The siren song of a potential camp classic compelled me to make the trek out west to Chesterfield (home of a mile-long strip mall of horrors) for a preview screening of this somewhat mysterious Christina Aguilera/Cher musical.

I don’t think I was disappointed? It’s certainly not bad–the plot was thin (we have to band together to save the old burlesque house from evil developers!), but moved quickly and there were enough strobe lights, high kicks, and scenes of Aguilera strutting down the street practicing dance moves while fellow pedestrians looked on admiringly to keep the audience happy. But where was the camp? The only Showgirls worthy line came about 3/4 of the way through when Cher reminded Kristen Bell (really sweating it here to play a humorless, self-destructive bitch [and, well, to dance], with a chirpy delivery that gives away the Doris Day within) about “How many times I held your hair back while you threw up everything but your memories!” Now that’s what I’m talking about. More please.

Normal bartender pose.

The cast! Volchok–sorry, Cam Gigandet–as the romantic lead says more words in this movie than in “The O.C.” and Twilight combined! And he’s not awful! He’s magnetic in that local rock star kind of way, and is pretty evenly matched with Aguilera for their scenes of flirty banter that lead to tru luv. Aguilera is absolutely fine in her role–in the singer-turned-actress category, I’d put her closer to Mandy Moore than Britney. That is meant to be a compliment. Her voice sounds fantastic, and she looks so lovely that it makes this even sadder. Somebody help!

It also features the holy triumvirate of flamboyant films: Stanley Tucci as, of course, an avuncular, somewhat asexual, witty assistant, Peter Gallagher as Cher’s hyperventilating and floppy-haired ex-husband, and Alan Cumming, who hangs around in the shadows making Cabaret faces. Thanks for stopping by, boys.

And finally, Cher. I’m not sure why she chose to do this film–maybe it just looked like a good time–but she sure looks gorgeous slumming it. She’s shot in the loving, reverent way that Streisand shoots herself, and belts out a couple of numbers (one welcoming us into the film, and one telling us not to count her out–as if!) utilizing little-to-no autotune. It’s fun! And it makes you hope that Burlesque is a big hit, just so we can see more of her.

Grade: C+

PS, HOLY SHIT! SML road trip!

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9 Responses to “Wigs for All, Pants for None”

  1. Rebecca Lenzini says:

    I am happy to say that I accompanied our SML reviewer Be and her posse on a birthday trip to see Cher live in Vegas in 2009. We had nearly front row seats. Up close, Cher looks terrific! Amazing really. She talks about her Vegas show in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair…a great interview which seems to really capture her. Worth the read.

  2. Rebecca Lenzini says:

    Just to add: Vanity Fair has a fabulous Cher slide show up right now at

  3. Kimberly says:

    I am insanely jealous. This is the interview that made me fall in love with her–about 5 minutes in when she talks about getting older. Yay.

  4. Sarah says:

    I find it delightful that she has two completely different colored wigs on right on the home page of her Vegas site. Adding Cher to the starting lineup of the All Awesome Team immediately.

  5. […] makeshift memorial. (Of course, I missed this reportedly moving tribute, due to a sneak preview of Burlesque playing across town in Chesterfield. There are priorities, people!)  The film’s star, […]

  6. Brian says:

    boy, that linked shot of Xtina looking all orange and good witch-y (perhaps that was taken at a halloween party!) sure is awful. she really does look stunning, no joke, in a lot of this film. she has a big dance-free number towards the end where she’s all 1940’s starlet in a super hot low-cut thing and really pulls it off in a major way. she should hire whoever gussied her up in this film as her personal stylist, stat.

  7. I dunno, somehow Burlesque reminds me of Coyote Ugly. Small town girl trying to make it big in the business? Anyway, I think Christina would’ve been nice if she were younger. But I must say, there’s a lot of Human Hair Wigs going on in this movie! Thanks for the movie review!

  8. Coyote Ugly is right! What a terrible movie. AND NOT A SINGLE MONKEY HAIR WIG IN IT!

  9. […] think of Gallagher’s career rebirth as patriarchal figure in beloved B dance films (Center Stage, Burlesque)? Did you know that this was originally called Step Up 4: Miami Heat? Way to take advantage of the […]