BURLESQUE

It evaporates even as you watch it, a compendium of hoary conventions
from all the backstage movies you've ever seen: hard-as-nails club
owner mentors wide-eyed new chick in town, troubled star toppled by
said new chick, club owner's wisecracking gay sidekick, new chick's
struggle to have her talent recognized, club owner's money woes
threaten to shut the joint down — need I go on? Every “crisis” is too
easily resolved, every number looks and sounds the same, and the cast
struggles to make themselves interesting. Cher seems afraid to go the
distance and be the total hard-ass the role calls for; only then would
her ultimate softening satisfy. Stanley Tucci is always entertaining,
but he's been playing this part for so long now, it seems like
retread. (That's why he was such a revelation in Easy A.) Aguilera
fails to electrify. And please, someone tell me who is it that thinks
Eric Dane is a movie star? I started squirming less than 15 minutes
in; by the end, I had retitled it Borelesque. — Jeff Schultz

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