Mr. Movie

'Burlesque' performances strip it down

First a few adjectives.

Tuneless. Monotonous. Dull.

Most of Burlesque’s music fits the first, the plot the second and the third describes acting that is so-so within a way-too-long story.

- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Christina Aguilera — who is an incredible singer — stars and is cast as Ali, a small-town girl trying to make the big-time in Los Angeles.

She lands at a club managed by Cher’s Tess and soon becomes the club’s main draw. Tossed into the plot salad is a slow, predictable love story. A side story has Tess losing the club. Rivalry with a character played by Kristin Bell is supposed to provide tension.

It doesn’t.

Burlesque does offer some good news. For one, Cher only sings two songs. And the always tasty supporting work of the brilliant Stanley Tucci manages to hold up the sagging plot just a little bit. Tucci is always a treat.

I’m not a fan of Cher’s limited vocal style. She did, however, used to be a decent actress. Cher isn’t that good here. If blame must be assigned, though her acting is awful, Cher is not the problem. That lies in the awful script from writer/director Steven Antin, who is most famous for an acting role in Goonies.

Also hindering her performance is botox and other cosmetic surgeries. They have made Cher’s once expressive face practically immovable. Not that she — or anyone involved — has that much moving to do in Burlesque anyway.

Clearly, Burlesque is Aguilera’s movie. Maybe with a better part she’d show us real acting chops. We didn’t get much here except more notice that the lady has an incredible set of pipes and can sing circles around her co-star.

Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and brief nudity. It is playing at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.