Burlesque ruffles some feathers

Sadie McGuire, Entertainment Editor

Musicals more often than not get the crappy end of the stick when it comes to movies. Men are practically moved to tears at the thought of accompanying their girlfriends to one, and sometimes even women are left to ponder the plausibility of breaking out into song while doing the most mundane tasks. A soprano solo combined with complex choreography while on the way to the supermarket—using lampposts and garbage cans as props, naturally—is more like a theatre geek’s wet dream than a probable circumstance.

Burlesque, while not the most original plot in Hollywood, is one of the most glamorous attempts in recent film memory. While last year’s big-time musical attempt Nine had the oomph in the Eurocentric musical scenes, it lacked everywhere else. Burlesque, on the other hand, has the sex appeal, drama, and flair that any campy musical should offer.

The premise is simple: small town girl with a big time voice, Ali (Christina Aguilera), moves to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to make it big. Before departing, of course, she has to belt out a big number that reminds us all that she’s meant for more than this. Upon arrival in the big city, she is captivated by The Burlesque Lounge—a hidden gem filled with scantily clad women writhing to the standards, truly a portrait of a bygone Hollywood era. To impress the diva of an owner Tess (the legendary Cher), Ali builds her way up from cocktail waiters to singing siren.

Along the way, Ali encounters her fair share of woes with charming men of Los Angeles. There’s the bartender and aspiring composer, Jack (Twilight’s Cam Gigandet), who shares his apartment and good will with the poverty-stricken Ali. With flirtations flying, it’s healthy notion the mention that Jack has a fiancé—gasp! On the other hand, there’s Marcus (Eric Dane), the slimy business exec attempting to buy out the Burlesque Lounge by biding for Ali’s heart.

As is evident, the plot is revolutionary and the conclusion is a given. It’s the glamour and pizzazz of the performances, from the newer voice of Aguilera to the legendary Cher, that make the film. Women wearing nothing but pearls or feathers sauntering around the stage can be respected by any man or woman—and especially those theatre geeks.