Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.
The Burlesque Lounge has its best days behind it. Tess, a retired dancer and owner of the venue, struggles to keep the aging theater alive, facing all kinds of financial and artistic challenges. With the Lounge's troupe members becoming increasingly distracted by personal problems and a threat coming from a wealthy businessman's quest to buy the spot from Tess, the good fortune seems to have abandoned the club altogether. Meanwhile, the life of Ali, a small-town girl from Iowa, is about to change dramatically. Hired by Tess as a waitress at the Lounge, Ali escapes a hollow past and quickly falls in love with the art of burlesque. Backed by newfound friends amongst the theater's crew, she manages to fulfill her dreams of being on stage herself. Things take a dramatic turn though when Ali's big voice makes her become the main attraction of the revue. Written by
The state of American film in the 21st Century has been generally abysmal but nowhere is it more evident than in the film musical. Taking the most honored of the period Chicago, a Fosse wanta be with bad performances and forgettable tunes as the benchmark it is more than evident all singing all dancing has lost its voice and more than a step. The latest entry and every bit the tepid much ado about nothing heat and light display of flaccid musical storytelling as the Oscar winner (an even bigger comment on the unimaginative state of the movie business) is the insipidly slick Burlesque.
Stop me if you've heard this. Young impressionable girl with massive hidden talent leaves the land of corn for the bright lights of LA where she stumbles upon a run down anachronism with a crusty but understanding owner still in it for love of the game who gives the kid a break and, well you can fill in the rest.
In the role of Judy Garland Christine Aguleria sings the blues with impressive voice but it's all plastic soul and slumming for the former mouseketeer who presents an unintentionally jarring visual context of an Aryan uber babe singing Bessie Smith. Speaking of plastic Cher all polished and waxed like an antique Oldsmobile splits her time offering sage advice and sarcasm. In addition she does a couple of tunes with her signature howl wrapped as always in distracting outfit and opulent stagecraft to soften its blow. There's some male characters whose purpose it seems is to stand around with expressions of awe for the divas and of course the serious pyrotechnics surrounding the noir dance numbers that attempts to put some make-up on this pig but in the end it is all forced Fosse.
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