Burlesque Parent Guide
This romanticized version of a strip club and Ali's meteoritic climb to fame looks just a little too enticing and attainable to be anything but Hollywood.
Parent Movie Review
Ali Rose (Christina Aguilera) is an Iowa barmaid with a voice big enough to blast the blackbirds out of the barn rafters. And she’s not content to spend her life singing to the jukebox. Packing all her belongings in a single suitcase, she takes her last wages from the bar till and buys a one-way ticket to Los Angeles—the city where all dreams are supposed to come true.
But finding a job as a backup singer or chorus line girl is harder than she anticipated. Walking along the dark city streets after a long day of job seeking, she is lured into a burlesque lounge after seeing one of the skimpily dressed dancers outside the stage door. All it takes is one titillating dance number to convince her that this is where she wants to be. However, Tess (Cher), the lounge’s struggling owner isn’t hiring. She and her ex-husband (Peter Gallagher) are facing financial troubles (despite the nearly full tables every night) and risk losing the business unless they can come up with a substantial sum of money in the next few weeks.
Not to be deterred, Ali puts some of her Iowa ingenuity to work when she sees one of the barmaids slacking on the job. Picking up a tray, she starts serving drinks for the bartender (Cam Gigandet). Her down to business attitude earns her a job and eventually a shot at auditioning on stage. With some encouragement from the stage manager (Stanley Tucci), Tess half-heartedly agrees to give Ali a spot in the chorus line. The move doesn’t sit well with some of the other dancers, especially Nikki (Kristen Bell). But tensions reach a high note when Nikki arrives for work late and drunk one too many times. Fed up with the antics of her primary performer, Tess sends Nikki home and puts Ali front and center on stage.
Despite achieving her dream of being in the spotlight, the young performer encounters some challengers she didn’t anticipate including unsolicited attention from a high rolling real estate agent (Eric Dane) eager to scoop up Tess’s failing business.
While the dancers’ tiny costumes (with strategically placed lace, pasties, beads and boa feathers) more than adequately imply that this is not family entertainment, the windowless lounge "with the best view in town" still appears to be a sanitized version of this type of establishment. Despite the provocative dance moves, there are no vulgar catcalls or groping patrons to taint the musical numbers. (Unfortunately audiences will still be exposed to frequent profanities and lewd or suggestive sexual antics and dialogue.)
Though making headlines in a burlesque may not have been what this Iowa native initially envisioned for herself, this romanticized version of a strip club and Ali’s meteoritic climb to fame looks just a little too enticing and attainable to be anything but Hollywood.Directed by Steve Antin. Starring Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release November 24, 2010. Updated July 21, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Burlesque rated PG-13? Burlesque is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material.
Violence: A woman smashes the window of another’s car after a verbal fight. Several other characters also exchange angry words.
Sexual Content: Characters wear revealing and skimpy dance costumes. Male buttock nudity and female back nudity is seen. Dancers performer erotic and sexually suggestive dance moves. Hetero and homosexual sex is implied. Couples are seen in bed together. A man and woman kiss.
Language: The script includes a strong sexual expletive, profanities, scatological slang and numerous sexually suggestive comments.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink frequently in a bar setting and at home. Several characters drink to deal with problems. Some are portrayed as being drunk. Cigars and cigarette use is depicted.
Page last updated July 21, 2016
More parents' guide for Burlesque after the break...
Burlesque Parents' Guide
Why are small towns often negatively portrayed in the movies? What percentage of people who come to L.A. do you think actually achieve their goals?
What elements of a burlesque lounge are not portrayed in this movie?
How do the characters in this movie watch out for each other?
The most recent home video release of Burlesque movie is March 1, 2011. Here are some details…
Burlesque releases to DVD and Blu-ray on March 1, 2011, with the following bonus extras:
- The Burlesque Lounge: 6 Full Musical Performances!
- Blooper Reel
- Alternate Opening
- Commentary with Writer/Director Steven Antin
- Burlesque Jukebox
The Blu-ray edition includes this additional material:
- movieIQ®+sync featuring the Burlesque playlist
Burlesque is Back!
The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque
Setting the Stage: Production Design & Photography
Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look
The Set List: The Music & Choreography of Burlesque