Following is a special guest review by my good friend Jami, a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body. She also possesses a stunning knowledge of The Simpsons and 80s TV theme songs that rivals my known. Since I still haven’t seen Burlesque yet, Jami was kind enough to share her thoughts with us. Enjoy!
Guest Review by Jami
Over the weekend, I went to see Burlesque, starring the resplendent Cher and Xtina (in the role she was born to play). We don’t waste much time on Xtina’s small-town life, so I guess they get that we get it. But we stayed in Iowa long enough to learn that our plucky Ali has a heart of gold and isn’t short on work ethic.
We arrive in LA and immediately find The Burlesque Lounge itself, owned and operated by Cher, of course, which is all Busby Berkeley and totally incredible. You don’t even care that there’s no nudity. (Please tell me that places that look like this actually exist in LA.) Stanley Tucci is excellent as Cherilyn’s gay husband. (Although is anyone else noticing that Tucci is always the gay friend all of a sudden?) I have to say they have adorable rapport.
Cher and her face are wonderful as mother figure/icon. But I have to say that her Cherness sort of overlaps into the role—personally, I couldn’t stop thinking about baby Cher, plucked from obscurity and given that one great career-making song by Sonny.
Much of the movie is spent as a two-hour music video with several solos by both Cher and Xtina. I usually get bored by solos, but not here. In fact, I’m going to run out and get the soundtrack as soon as possible. For once, the solos are big numbers. Pretty soon we learn that Xtina is an orphan, which removes the need for any more bothersome back story, so we can move forward with her having to decide between insanely hot dudes. This movie manages to tap into every single female fantasy, including getting mailed diamond shoes. One scene involves hot dude #1 (the good one) shielding his naked man parts with a box of chocolate chip cookies. In another, hot dude #2 (the bad, but rich one) explains life to us over a glass of wine and a mischievous grin while overlooking a sweeping view of LA.
There was also a very notable exchange between Stanley Tucci and the DJ at this pointless wedding we had to go to. Personally, I thought this movie actually treats a gay one-night stand with gentle humor and real-ish personality. And, amazingly, it manages to round out the Tucci character a little. Kristen Bell supposedly plays an alcoholic diva, and good for her for trying on the “bad girl” role. She didn’t suck. Plus, Alan Cumming shows up to remind us that he was in Cabaret that time? Remember?
I won’t spoil the ending, because I thought it very neatly ties the whole mess up with a glittery, rhinestone-studded bow. However, I will share several important life lessons I learned from Burlesque:
1. Cher still rules.
2. Xtina ain’t so bad.
3. If you work hard and you’re tenacious and you refuse to cut your hair, your prince will come AND you’ll also get your dream job.
4. Hot guys are hot.
5. Gay husbands are adorable!
6. Clubs in LA are amazing and not trashy at all!
7. Developers might actually save the day.
8. If you dig in your six-inch heels, you’ll end up getting everything you ever wanted!
Thumbs up! Way up!