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Aguilera shines in roll of the diva-laden musical

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Burlesque" is a glitzy, diva-laden musical that opens with Ali (played by songstress Christina Aguilera), an Iowa waitress with ambitions (not to mention an other-worldly voice) that far exceed her small town confines.

Determined to put her larger than life talents on display, she promptly moves to L.A. and pushes her way into a waitressing position at the nostalgic nightclub, Burlesque, run by the commandeering but kind hearted Tess (portrayed by the legendary Cher).

Ali's wish that her current mundane position will lead to something more comes true when she finally becomes part of the chorus line after auditioning for Tess and her cheeky right-hand man, Sean (Stanley Tucci).

At first, everything seems to be going Ali's way in the dog-eat-dog world of performing. Even when the villainess Nikki (Kristen Bell) plans to thwart Ali's sudden success, her scheme backfires and, instead, thrusts the young newcomer into the prestigious headlining position. However, everything isn't "coming up roses," as Tess fears that she will lose her beloved nightclub because of ever-present financial problems; Ali finds herself entangled in a love triangle, and Sean is forced to confront his fear of commitment.

While "Burlesque" begins (perhaps purposely orchestrated) quite slowly, the pace picks up not a moment too soon and immerses audiences in a "Wonderland" of show-tunes (many of which were penned exclusively for the film by Aguilera), sequins, and all of the inevitable back biting and ego-clashes that accompany the world of show business.

Cher fans around the world will undoubtedly rejoice at her return to film after a few years' hiatus, and the star is more sassy and soulful than ever belting out passionate tunes, particularly the intrepid ballad "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me."

With a delicate balance of nostalgic and post-modern glamour, "Burlesque" serves up a big dose of Las Vegas- esque charm. This film has been rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material.

Victoria Henley, 17, is the daughter of Lynn and Russ Henley of Colquitt. She occasionally reviews movies for The Herald.