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Christina Aguilera and Cher star in 'Burlesque': movie review

Christina Aguilera plays a waitress with a big voice and big dreams hired by the owner of a run-down burlesque house, played by Cher.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / November 24, 2010

Stanley Tucci (l.) and Cher are shown in a scene from the movie, 'Burlesque.'

Stephen Vaughan/Screen Gems/AP

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If you go to “Burlesque” expecting a campy hoot on the order of “Showgirls,” you may be in for a disappointment. It’s not quite awful enough, although it’s plenty bad.

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It’s being promoted as the screen comeback of Cher, who plays the owner of a run-down L.A. burlesque house on Sunset Strip, but her role is relatively meager. This is unfortunate, since she, along with Stanley Tucci as her stage manager, give the only performances that rise above the level of a high school theatrical.

The ostensbile star is Christina Aguilera, playing an Iowa waitress who becomes the club’s prime hootchy-kootchy attraction. She belts out her big numbers while scrunching up her kisser and sidestepping the many hurtling bodies that writer-director Steve Antin places in her path. This movie has about as much to do with burlesque as “Dancing with the Stars” has to do with “Swan Lake.”

You’d be much better off renting the documentary “Behind the Burly Q” or picking up Liz Goldwyn’s illustrated book “Pretty Things.” Or maybe you should rent “Showgirls” and be done with it. Grade: C - (Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language, and some thematic material.)

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