Word on the street is that Christina Aguilera can act. That means she's ready to leap frog over Mariah Carey (for the lackluster Glitter) and Britney Spears (for the forgettable Crossroads) in a bid to hit the heights not reached since Barbara Streisand gave the world (the remake of) A Star is Born! Given the loopy premise–that this girl's DREAM is to dirty dance at a failing LA nightclub–I'd be ready to dismiss Burlesque in a hot minute except that Aguilera has shown the good sense to work with heavyweights Cher and, get ready, Stanley Tucci. What the? Some are dismissing the effort as a soon-to-be camp classic, and the trailer doesn't exactly make me question that notion. 


In it we learn that small-town girl Ali (played by Aguilera) is hired by Tess (Cher), whose grumpy exterior must surely mask a heart of gold. Oy. Ali almost blows her chance onstage, then she starts sing. Even the gay bartender stops in his tracks. I can't wait to hear this and the other three songs Aguilera wrote for the movie, though it's Cher's song that provides the theme with “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.”

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But this girl can dream that after a ten-year hiatus, maybe Cher is banking on something more substantive. The best burlesque I've seen sticks with you long after the show is over because it's saucy and smart. The very definition of provocative. Then again, a good old tawdry romp that sends us out to theaters at midnight sporting bowler hats wouldn't be so bad either.

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"Burlesque" opens November 24, just in time for Thanksgiving. I bet it will be all the buzz at this year's burlesque convention in New York City, but I'm sure we'll be hearing more about it before then.





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