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Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA.
After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club's proprietor and headliner.
Desperate for a job, a chance to "be up there" the same as the other writhing girls, Ali asks the pretty boy bartender, Jack (Cam Gigandet), whom she has to "flirt with" to get it. The simple answer is that Ali has a show to put on.
He gestures backstage, tells her to ask for Tess: "She's your guy," he nods, "Flirt away." Perhaps missing the gender joke and certainly missing the point that flirting might be subtle, Ali barrels into the dressing room and starts yapping, inexorable. This is her fantasy, so everyone else might as well get out of her way.
Certainly, Cher doesn’t need to sell herself: she's Cher, mesmerizingly fabricated, never finished. In its ongoing exaltation of Ali/Aguilera (who, following the feeble sales of her CD this year, went so far as to pitch the product on the Dancing With the Stars finale), Burlesque loses momentum when Tess exits, for long minutes.
Whether singing or deadpanning or smashing an apostate's car window with a tire iron, Tess is not only the movie's inspiration but also its raison d'être.
The camera cuts from Ali's eyes, wide and shiny, to Tess' figure, tall and daunting.
The movie checks off the requisite steps: Ali's got only 80-some minutes left to find a boyfriend, save the club, school a bad coworker, and forge a friendship with her mother-figure-mentor Tess.
First, she must learn what burlesque means, appreciate the heritage she's about to claim as her own, and so the film provides a 90-second montage to Ali's research (she lies on her bed and leafs through magazines and actual books, as opposed to, say, googling). For years working with lesser talents, Tess insists that customers only want to see girls in their underwear genuflecting to Marilyn Monroe, not hear them.
With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and gender-bending host (Alan Cumming), Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage.
Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though not before a charismatic entrepreneur (Eric Dane) arrives with an enticing proposal... From the moment it starts, anticipation of what's going to happen next just never stops. Dancing from all the cast is a must see for all ages. it gets me so mad how much the "media" try to diss this movie while everyone who watch it feel inlove with it.