Ambitious Iowa girl Ali (Christina Aguilera) is fed up with her small-town waitressing job, so throws in the teatowel to chase stardom in glamorous LA. Upon her arrival, she gets work waiting tables in a struggling burlesque club, run by tough-talking Tess (Cher) and her wryly witty friend Sean (Stanley Tucci).
Dazzled by the bright lights, and copious sequins, Ali talks her way into dancing in one of The Burlesque Lounge's extravagant shows. Lacking the polish of the pros, however, she fails to convince the sceptical Tess of her potential, until a spontaneous lungbusting vocal solo reveals where her talents really lie.
Winning maximum marks for camp value, this so-bad-it's-brilliant musical takes a ridiculously cliched plot and sprinkles it with fun, glamour and some serious star power.
Presumably cast for her singing skills rather than aptitude for acting, Aguilera makes a surprisingly good go of her first starring role. Cher, meanwhile, is well cast, even if her Oscar-calibre acting ability is restricted by some off-puttingly obvious facial nips and tucks. A charming Cam Gigandet provides the eye candy as barman, and love interest, Jack, with Eric Dane his slimy rival for Ali's heart.
Kristen Bell features as a bitchy rival performer, while Alan Cumming pops up as an androgynous singing doorman.
With a soundtrack including Diane Warren's Golden Globe-winning You Haven't Seen The Last of Me performed by Cher, Burlesque is destined to become a guilty pleasure for fans of gleefully cheesy musical fun.