Last night I went to a pre-screening of BURLESQUE, which opens next week.
I'll admit, I was skeptical about the film, as I'd seen the previews and thought, here is Coyote Ugly meets Showgirls, with Cher.
But I was wrong. It's more like Flashdance meets Cabaret, with Cher.
I was thoroughly entertained. I knew this film was going to focus on the Burlesque stylings more that of the PussyCat Dolls, than that of Dita Von Teese. Lots of hair tossing and jazz-90's style dancing. But I was pleasantly surprised at the respect for the vintage that was in the film. An adorable fan dance (by Xtina), retro styled Bump and Grind, and the use of some vintage music (I heard our Voodoo act in there!). I was right in making my bet that I wouldn't see one set of pasties, but I now believe that was to attain the PG-13 rating.
With three of the movie's songs using the film's title, I imagine a slew of burlesque gals designing routines to them. I have dibs on Cher's song though!
The plot is predictable. You probably already know it from the previews. But no one is going to this movie for the plot line. And, remarkably, it was pretty entertaining. The story of a 'small town girl trying to make it in the big city' is one we've seen time and time again...but I like it.
All the actors did a great job of working with the script. It was charming and sincere, and you really feel for the characters, despite the story line's lack of depth.
There are some genius one liners delivered brilliantly by Cher, Christina, and Kristin Bell. Stanley Tucci was smart in making his 'gay side-kick' character understated, so much so, that I didn't realize that he wasn't Cher's husband in the film, until half way through. I'm thankful for that, as it could have been played over the top and flamboyant. One bad note: More Alan Cumming! He is perfection, I wish he'd been in more scenes.
Cher is funny. She's brassy, ballsy, and looks amazing for 64. The one liners that were written for her and Christina were delivered brilliantly by both actresses.
Cher has a few Torch Song moments, and as I was watching her, I was picturing all the Drag Queens who will be emulating the songs in years to come.
Ok, I thought she was going to be the worse thing about this movie. I'm tired of her persona in the press, I'm tired of her vocal gymnastics. But DAMN! Girl can dance, girl can act, and wow she can sing (but we knew that). She steals the show, and you really remember that this girl is gorgeous in a close-up with no make-up. (It's easy to forget that because sometimes she looks SO done up on the red carpet). Her character is sweet and charming, and you really like her.
For a Disney kid turned pop star, A+ in the acting department. Way better than the Mariah Carey 'Glitter' and Britney 'Crossroads" fiascos.
All in All, I'm glad I saw this movie. In fact, I'll probably buy it when it comes out on DVD. It's a great movie to see over the Holiday Weekend, if you like razzle dazzle. However, it does make you want to get to the gym and workout 7 days a week (Those girls' bodies are fierce.)
So it might not be the best thing right before the Thanksgiving gluttony.