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Despite generally unfavorable reviews when it was first released, Burlesque (2010) has gone on to garner a kind of cult following. People enjoy the high camp of the film as well as the powerhouse diva duo of Cher and Christina Aguilera. The fanbase for Burlesque makes a lot more sense than that of Cats (2019) and a lot less sense than that of Showgirls (1995). It’s not a good film, but it has its charms, chief among them being that fact that Burlesque is wholly sincere in its feel good optimism the entire time.

The cast features Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher and Kristen Bell in top form that far outshines the sub-par screenplay. These supporting players help bolster Aguilera’s uneven performance when needed and add some color and zest to an otherwise predictable musical. Obviously Burlesque belongs to Cher, even though Aguilera plays the main character. Even though Cher isn’t giving the kind of career performance she gave in Moonstruck (1987) she constantly reminds the viewer that few people alive are as talented or as gorgeous as she is.

Which brings us to the major failing of Burlesque. A film with such a cookie cutter plot and a total lack of subtlety has to trade on the unique spectacles it offers. Sure it’s fun to see Aguilera’s take on the choreography from Cabaret (1972) but that only goes so far. The real crime of Burlesque is that Cher and Christina Aguilera never do a number together. These two women have such powerful voices and yet they don’t do a duet in a film where one plays the other’s mentor? It’s a crime, plain and simple.

Burlesque is a stupid and fun musical, nothing more. You either go into it for the show stopping numbers or you skip it. There’s nothing resembling real drama here nor any major cinematographic breakthroughs. Burlesque is just a fun little movie about Christina Aguilera finding an enjoyable outlet for her mondo dancing and singing skills. If your expectations don’t exceed this then you’re in for a camp-tastic good time.