November 26, 2010

November 26, 2010
Black Friday

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great Thanksgiving weekend. In the United States, this is also called Black Friday because many retail stores do tons of sales to get people started on their Christmas shopping.

Now I am not one who enjoys shopping. I know I know. A gay man who does not enjoy shopping. Shock! But I have found especially during the holidays that people tend to have horrible manners when they are doing their Christmas shopping. So I tend to do most of my shopping online not only now but all year long.

I had a friend get to Target at some ungodly time like 4am because he was trying to get a large flat screen television at a greatly discounted price. I was not surprised to hear all the television were gone even though he was one of the first people in the store when it opened. Just goes to show why I refused to get up in the middle of the night to try and save a few dollars.

After taking the dogs for their afternoon walk, we went with our friend Paul to see the new movie Burlesque starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. With a trailer that evokes comparisons to Showgirls, I can not say I had high hopes for the new film.

Yet somewhere in this two hour campy homage to the Golden Age of musicals, I found the film won me over with its old fashioned and rather cornball simplicity, as well as some fantastic musical numbers built around Christina Aguilera and Cher.

Aguilera plays Ali, an Iowa farm girl who heads to Los Angeles to become a star. She takes a job in a rundown burlesque club on the Sunset Strip. Eventually she wins over the clubís owner, a former dancer named Tess (Cher), who is faced with the prospect of losing her business.

As Aliís star begins to rise, Tess sees her newest singer/dancer as the ticket to turning things around and keeping the club.

If the script sounds familiar, then you have probably seen Showgirls or any other small town girl who dreams of the big time film ever made. Writer/director Steve Antinís screenplay does not sway far from formula, delivering perhaps one of the most tepid films about a burlesque club in movie history. Even the antagonists seem tame, including a rival dancer played by Kristen Bell.

But what Burlesque does have is some enjoyable razzle dazzle musical numbers that play to the strengths of Aguilera and Cher. In her first starring role, Aguilera is actually better than expected. Her vocals, which have always had a jazzy, blues quality, fit the material like a glove, allowing Aguilera to do what she does best: sing and dance.

Cher is also good in her first film in six years. She plays the mentor to perfection and even gets a musical number of her own, showing that the 64 year old entertainer still has a little left in the tank. Cher also has great chemistry with Stanley Tucci, who plays the clubís gay costume designer.

It all adds up to a film that might be dismissed by some. However, if you are a sucker for musicals, like I am, you might just find this to be the ideal holiday guilty pleasure. I know there were many of Cher and Christina's gay fans in the theater.

Hope you have a safe and great weekend. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab