hopscotchee: cam gigandet score: 38.5 rating: pg-13 time: 119 minutes
it only makes sense that, if we are going to give mickey mouse club mouseketeers (justin timberlake, jc chasez, and goddess britney spears) a show in this batch, we gotta give their co-star, xtina a film too. hence....burlesque. in all honesty, we were quite excited to sit down and watch this glitter and glam flick, coming from our childhood where we saw this trailer a lot but couldn't watch a film about....you know....burlesque!! and though we were thrilled to cut through the 'eventually' and finally be able to watch it, we were more than a tad disappointed. also, not to be those people but this poster....eh. it's kinda like the movie. with a quick glance it may look nice, however....the slogan. really?? whoever had this idea must've thought they were the shiz, placing "it takes a legend" underneath cher and "to make a star" underneath christina. if this logline was more accurate to the film, then maybe we wouldn't be so harsh, yet we bless the hearts of the folks who watched this during thanksgiving, because two plus hours and no plot is just harsh. so!! let's talk about it.
a huge oofy in burlesque was easily the script. like jeez!! instantly dropped into the story without an exposition was a rough wow. now, the decision to begin this way is not always a default-yucky. it can provide curiosity and interest as we, the audience, try to unpack what is happening, usually cutting the whole 'getting to know you' act for a thicker, spicier plotline. with burlesque this was not the case. we're not even 20-30 minutes into this shindig, and we already have our plot: (possible) small town girl moves to LA to be a dancing, singing star and finds hope in a burlesque club. from this point on, the movie is just show-show fluff. then again, if you are here for the cher and christina show then by all means, this is the show for you, but, if you are wanting a little bit more heart and content, wait for one of the other mouseketeer movies. 'cause not to go all 'xtina vs. brit brit' here, although, as you'll soon see, when working on her film crossroads, britney asked the writer (shout out shonda rhimes) to give the story meaning and not make it fluffy. and, yeah, there are other films that can be used as examples for this, but the point is, when you have lines like (spoiler) ali's after sex statement, "it's official....you're not gay" to jack, you have fully passed fluff and gone to garbage. and that's not even mentioning the plot holes!!
sure, most films choose not to have their actors sing live, but we aren't dealing with actors. we are dealing with singers. anyways, this could simply be shrugged off, however, the plot focuses on (spoiler) ali (christina's character) influencing the burlesque club to let the dancers sing their own voice and not lip-sync to a track during their performances. seems a bit strange, that we are supposed to just assume that they are not lip-syncing a track, when that is what we are still seeing, right?? OR what about the plothole that when (spoiler) ali first arrives at the club, we see tess (cher's character) performing on stage singing her own song. unless we are to think that she's singing a cher song or what they call 'a song from one of the greats', separating the actors from reality, and making this film exceptionally more the the cher and christina show.
as much as the script was weak, equally unsave-able was the editing. including offenses such as a cornyAF cut to a pearl *boo-stee-aayy* (bustier) flying in the air, or how that was followed by an unnecessary strobe flashing sequence, or how during the burlesque performances there were moments where the music track was off-sync to the lip movements!! at that point, keep the scene in a wide shot. don't cut to a close up on christina so we can all see how off the lips are!! which may we say, only further proves that they are lip-syncing. anyways, apart from these wacky moments, the film's editing style mainly switched back and forth from musical numbers to montages, leaving, unfortunately, nowhere for any solid plot to work.
but even in the scraps of its brittle story, there wasn't much to take in due to the acting. no shade to the actual actors. the fault came on the delivery and casting. we love the powerful belters that are xtina and cher. their voices made the musical numbers of this show very entertaining. however believing that they were ali and tess was not very easy, overall effecting the sincerity of the story (not that this is the story you are going to get all sincere with, though). likewise, this issue came to play with the casting of mcsteamy (aka mr. not-nameable-cal-person😒) and quinn fabray. in particular, the casting of diana agron was challenging because of the lack of visual plot around her character. what we mean by this is that (spoiler) when we finally get to see natalie (diana's character), and all she's doing is screaming at her fiancé/ex-fiancé, it is only giving us quinn fabray vibes, because we have nothing else to her character than her voice screaming, which is instantly tided to her past work on glee.
under these circumstances, burlesque was a little short of our expectations. however, you are not us, so we advise anyone who wants to watch a 2010 attempt of a chicago X moulin rouge to go ahead, get your a$$ up and show us how you burlesque!!
-- thanks, cam (or should we say james 🧛🏻♂️) xo