Oh God, it’s terrible.
The plot is threadbare (Christina Aguilera’s farm girl Alice becomes waitress in an LA Burlesque club, has great pipes, if only she could find a place to sing...), the acting is atrocious and the love scenes cringey.
There are lines in it as creaky as mentor figure Cher, more montages than MTV and enough hair pieces to get Dolly Parton hot and bothered. It’s a mystery why anyone is in it. There is zero evidence of anything approaching authenticity.
But God, it’s wonderful.
Like the love-child of Coyote Ugly and Showgirls – and led astray by Chicago – Burlesque is an unashamed theatrical artifice proudly wearing its camp heart on its sequinned sleeve.
With a winking khol-lined eye and tongue wedged in rouged cheek, it dares you to care that Aguilera can’t emote when there’s Cher parading a carousel of wigs and a torch song.
Why would you quibble that fit barman Jack (Cam Gigandet) spends more time flexing than serving drinks when you can marvel at jealous rival Bell’s impressive wax job?
Ladies, why complain about dodgy infidelity messages if there’s this much shoe/make-up/clothes porn to drool over? Gents, why snark when there’s this much T&A to... well, the same?
Though it may falter during the drama, this gaudy tart of a movie knows what to do with its real skills. That’s the thrilling, hot-as-hell dance numbers.
And whether you think Aguilera sounds like a diva or the cross between an alley cat and wastedisposal unit, the girl’s performance power can’t be denied.
If you must question the quality quota, stage manager Tucci brings the goods – delivering warmth and humour with little more than a pair of glasses and handful of bras.
You go, girl!
A sparkly, glossy guilty pleasure that demands a pre-viewing cocktail and a healthy pinch of salt.