Cher the pain

BURLESQUE (Steve Antin). 100 minutes. Now playing. For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NN

Burlesque cribs from any number of trashy pictures about showbiz, but it’s not nearly as much fun as Showgirls. A small-town entertainer (Christina Aguilera) tries to make it as a dancer/singer in a floundering nightclub, but first she must win over the club’s owner (Cher), piss off the drunken diva (Kristen Bell) and flirt with the sexy bartender (Cam Gigandet). When she finally shows everyone her star quality, a smouldering suit (Eric Dane) gets interested even as he’s negotiating to buy the club.

Despite the familiar material, Burlesque leaves you with more questions than answers.

What kind of nightclub is this, and who are its patrons? (It’s not a strip club, and it’s not a Las Vegas-style show.) Why don’t any of the performers have other aspirations? If business is so bad, how can they afford the sets and costumes for their Broadway-style numbers?

Why didn’t Bob Fosse get a credit for the derivative choreography?

How does Cher, in her mid-60s, look so amazing? Will she thank her personal trainer and/or plastic surgeon when she wins a Razzie?

Why does Alan Cumming, who won a Tony playing Cabaret’s emcee, get so little screen time?

Why is Stanley Tucci getting typecast playing fairy godfathers? (See The Devil Wears Prada.)

What other movies has Gigandet – this year’s Ryan Phillippe – made, and how can I get his oblique muscles?

Why did anyone think Aguilera could act? Does Jersey Shore’s Snooki realize that if she put on a blond wig and growled a lot she could do a mean Xtina impression?

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