Glance over really quickly at Burlesque. Hey, she's kind of cute from across the room. She's got a nice voice, as far as you can tell. You look over again, and take a longer glance. Hmm, doesn't she remind you of someone? Who could it be? You search your memory, and you finally realize it. Oh man, Burlesque looks a lot like Caberet. Here's the difference, though. While Caberet is sexy, intelligent, and talented, Burlesque is like Caberet's little sister: she's trying hard to be sexy, but it just isn't working.
Stealing its plot from every other backstage musical ever, Christina Aguilera’s Ali comes to LA and starts working at a modern day burlesque club where the girls (gulp) lip sync and strut around in lingerie. Hey, you know who can sing? Of course you do. And before you can say “Fosse!”, Ali is falling in love with the guy and stealing the spotlight from the b@#$y drunk. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but not in the fun way of another movie about scantily clad dancers that came out in the mid 90s. At least that one had nudity.
There is nothing original in this movie (and that includes Cher’s face). The choreography steals liberally from the Fosse playbook, but takes the new musical approach to shooting it: get as close as possible and just show elements of the dance, not the whole thing. The dialogue is laughable, the story completely clichéd. Christina Aguilera is, well, a singer. The songs don’t help the story, and are really only there so we can call this a musical. Unfortunately, it isn’t much of one. In fact, it isn’t much of a movie at all.