If you're anything like me, you're still waiting for the random moment when you stumble into a club and an agent finally discovers all of your hidden talents. But until that happens, you should soak in all of the Hollywood glamour, talent, and scandal that you can, which is why Burlesque is the one movie you need to watch before it leaves Netflix in October 2020. Watching a bright-eyed Aguilera make Hollywood her own is almost as good as living it yourself.
Making her big screen debut as an actor, Aguilera plays aspiring artist and actor Ali Rose, who moves to Los Angeles after quitting her bar job to make her Hollywood dreams come true. After getting rejected at auditions, she runs into a burlesque club and watches the larger-than-life owner Tess, a.k.a. Cher, perform with her girls. Ali starts off as a waitress and works her way up to dancer, but after her first number is almost sabotaged, she lets out her amazing vocal skills, impressing everyone in the audience and changing the club's future. But the new star may not be enough to save it from financial ruin.
Along with marking Aguilera's film debut, Burlesque was also Cher's first ever onscreen musical, despite having a legendary, decades-long career as both a Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actor. Both ladies contributed multiple songs to the film's iconic soundtrack, including "Express" and "Show Me How You Burlesque." The film went on to receive three Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Comedy or Musical and two in Best Original Song, for "Bound to You," Aguilera's lovestruck ballad, and "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," Cher's show-stopper, which took home the win.
Even though Cher and Aguilera deliver all the star power one could ever need, Burlesque also has a huge supporting cast that will have you saying "they're in this?" every five minutes. Kristen Bell and Julianne Hough appear as fellow cabaret dancers Nikki and Georgia, Twilight actor Cam Gigandet stars as hunky bartender Jack, Glee's Dianna Agron appears as Jack's (ex?) girlfriend Natalie, and McSteamy himself, Eric Dane, plays Marcus, a developer who tries to buy the club and Ali's heart. Of course, no good film is complete without Stanley Tucci as the most heartwarming and lovable character — this time, he plays fabulous usher and assistant Sean, who slowly becomes Ali's closest confidant.
Even over a decade after its release, the film's impact is still felt widely, at least within the fandoms of its stars. Both Cher and Aguilera pay tribute to Burlesque during their live shows, with Aguilera performing "Express" during her Las Vegas residency and Cher playing "Welcome to Burlesque" on her Here We Go Again Tour. And it changed more than just Aguilera's career. She met her husband Matthew Rutler while he worked as a production assistant on the film, and they're still together over 10 years later.
Burlesque leaves Netflix on Oct. 31.