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My first movie of 2011 is...
January 9, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
Burlesque! I know this movie has been out since Thanksgiving 2010 but it was playing in the Gladbrook theater this weekend and I really wanted to see it. Being a big fan of movie musicals this was on my must-see list. I also really like Christina Aguilera and Cher’s music; so, that is just more fuel on the fire.
The movie didn’t disappoint. It was really well done. The best part, for me at least, was the music. Christina has the best and most powerful singing voice I have ever heard, and it’s not something you would easily guess at from her speaking voice. I immediately downloaded the soundtrack when I got home and have been listening to it ever since.
Now to the movie itself.... (spoiler alert, read at your own risk)
Christina plays a girl named Ali who leaves her small town in Iowa to try her luck in the big city of LA. It is a true movie musical, and what I mean by that is that it has a song within the first five minutes. Christina belts an Etta James classic, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.”
Once in LA, things are slow for Ali as she tries to find work. Then one fateful evening, she walks into the Burlesque club and falls in love with the the art of burlesque. Enter Cher. She is the owner of the club, Tess. She is singing the opening number of the show when Ali first comes into the club.
The club itself is really well done. While set in modern day, the club gives the movie a period piece feel, as though we are transported back to the original Burlesque time period. The costuming, the lights and all of the dancers really add to that feel. An added treat for me is that Julianne Hough appears in the movie as one of the dancers, Georgia. She is one of my favorite pro dancers from Dancing with the Stars. She hasn’t been on the show since season eight so it was great to see her dance again.
Back to the movie, Ali talks to one of the bartenders, Jack, played by hottie Cam Gigandet (who plays a bad vampire in Twilight). They discover they are kindred spirits as he came to the big city from small town Kentucky. Jack directs her to see Tess to try to get in the act. Long story short, she crashes and burns with Tess but uses her new found friendship with Jack to land a waitress gig so she can remain close to the club.
She is at the club every night, watching each routine and memorizing them. All she needs is her chance, and before long, one dancers needs to drop out and a replacement is needed. Ali impresses Tess by her work ethic and not backing down when Tess tells her no first. She wheedles the job out of her and she turns out to be a hit when they discover her singing talent.
From her the movie really takes off. Christina sings five different times throughout the course of the movie. Cher has a power house solo that gave me goose bumps from the first eight bars.
The plot line is solid. Tess is struggling to keep her club, and she tries to use her new found star in Ali to help save it for her. That leads to jealousy from the other dancers, all of the classic conflicts that comes with the performing arts.
The romantic angle is there between Jack and Ali; however, you find out early that he is engaged to some chick in New York that doesn’t seem to care whether he’s there or not. Jack and Ali are still able to form a great friendship and is a solid emotional base for the movie. Grey’s Anatomy’s Eric Dane is in the movie as businessman, Marcus. He is trying to buy the club from Tess and takes an interest in Ali, while Jack is still trying to figure out his feelings. You can’t really hate hime because he’s just being a smart businessman and he’s good to Ali when they are in each other’s company.
The movie comes to a satisfying conclusion. I won’t give everything away but know that I wouldn’t be blogging about it with such a nice tone if I hated the ending. It’s definitely a movie I will purchase when the DVD comes out. It gets my recommendation to anyone wanting to watch an entertaining film, whatever that’s worth.
Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Peter Gallagher also star in the movie.
Here’s Cher’s song, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me Yet.” Not much of a video but the song is amazing!
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