Although I’m not a fan of musicals, I am a fan of Christina Aguilera. It’s my opinion that she has one of the most natural singing voices in pop music today. So I figured this film, with it’s “small town girl goes Hollywood” storyline, would at least have a decent soundtrack. And it did…and it wasn’t a terrible movie either!
Ali is a small town girl with a big time voice and she knows that she needs to let it out. So one day she hops on the first Greyhound bus outta Dodge (or Iowa) and heads to Hollywood with stars in her eyes. As she job hunts, she ends up at a burlesque show/bar where she takes a job as a waitress. The show’s manager & owner, Tess (Cher), takes a liking to her and before long, things happen and she finds herself on the stage as a dancer. What Tess doesn’t know is that Ali has talent that is more than just her dancing ability. When Ali finally gets the chance to sing, she becomes the star of the show, much to the dismay of alcoholic lead star, Nikki (played by Kristen Bell), and the show becomes a huge hit! But is it too little, too late for the show as the banks and a business tycoon (played by Eric Dane) close in to shut the show down? Well…you’ll have to rent it to find out. ‘Cause I’m not gonna be the one playing spoiler! But you get the drift.
So here’s my thoughts on this little film that is basically a high quality rewrite of “Coyote Ugly.” First off, it’s got good music (Aguilera has quite a few numbers and Cher gets a couple solos). Being a fan of Aguilera’s music, this is really more of a showcase for her vocal talent more than it is a plot-driven film. The acting is far better than some of the dance movies out there today and at a much higher level (most notable is the ALWAYS entertaining Stanley Tucci as Tess’ right-hand man) and the dance numbers are well choreographed and fun. Although she won’t be winning an Oscar anytime soon, Aguilera does a decent job with her role (she balances small town girl with confident sexy starlet well enough) and there are a few scenes in here that give her a chance to shine as an actress. I can’t imagine a better choice for the lead role and with the rest of the cast being top notch, this was a pretty good way to spend an evening with my wife. I’d say rent it with your significant other, have a glass of wine and enjoy the show!
Overall Rating: B-
10 Second Review: Enjoyable enough as a rental. The worn out storyline doesn’t distract from the real reason to watch…which is watching Aguilera shine at what she does. Cher & Tucci & a host of others make excellent supporting cast members and the choreography is great!