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The best terrible film of the year?

MUSICAL BURLESQUE (1hr 59mins) Certificate: 12A Starring: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci Director: Steve Antin Star rating: IF THE scripts for Chicago, Coyote Ugly, Dreamgirls, Glitter and Showgirls were put through a shredder and the tangle of musical cliches taped back together, you'd probably end up with Burlesque.

Clumsy and garish, Steve Antin's rags-to-riches fairytale cannot muster a single sequin of originality.

Yet for all its faults, Burlesque might just be the best terrible film of the year.

Whether by luck or design, Antin's girl power anthem is the most uproarious fun I've had in a cinema since Toy Story 3. The cast appear to have a hoot, too. Christina Aguilera can sure belt out the songs wearing nothing more than a string of pearls and a smile, and the script caters shamelessly to female and gay audiences with each whooping contrivance.

Ali (Aguilera) works as a waitress in Iowa but secretly dreams of stardom in glittering Los Angeles.

Strutting out of her trailer park in her white heels, Ali heads for the city where she stumbles on the Burlesque cabaret bar run by ex-dancer Tess (Cher) and best friend Sean (Stanley Tucci), who looks after the costumes. Before you can shake a feather boa, Ali is auditioning for a role as a dancing girl, where she inevitably riles the current leading lady. In double quick time, Ali catches the eye of hunky barman Jack, who already has a girlfriend, and local property developer Marcus.

But trouble looms. Tess is months in arrears and the club will be sold unless she can raise a small fortune in four weeks.

Thank goodness Ali can sing like Christina Aguilera ...

Burlesque marks her big-screen debut as a lead and she knows how to work a camera, bringing a natural sweetness to her feisty heroine.

The soundtrack gets painted toes tapping and I sense a late-night cult classic is born.

CAPTION(S):

BIG-SCREEN DEBUT Christina Aguilera as Ali in the uproarious rags-to-riches romp, Burlesque
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 17, 2010
Words:330
Previous Article:David Wells.
Next Article:SCI FI TRON: LEGACY (2hrs 5mins) Certificate: PG.

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