Clichés become become clichés because audiences respond to them. This cliché-ridden armload of razzle dazzle is fun even though we know we are being manipulated. Clearly inspired by the enormously successful "Chicago" a few years earlier, we see a down-at-the-heels little nightclub with a modest entrance and one neon sign, which leads us into a place with an average-size seating area and a performance area the size of an MGM sound stage.

On one hand we have a divorced couple, ably assisted by a long-time friend, trying to keep the club's doors open despite a demanding landlord. On the other hand, we see an optimistic young woman come to the big city in hopes of finding a career in show business. Naturally we also meet the waitresses, dancers and bartenders at the nightclub.

Let's talk about them:
  • Cher ("Stuck on You") is the weary but determined proprietress of the place, part seamstress, part businesswoman, part mother hen and part diva.
  • Peter Gallagher ("Conviction") is her panicky ex-husband, fresh out of ideas, waiting for the landlord's ax to fall.
  • Stanley Tucci ("Lovely Bones") is her artistic director/sympathetic right-hand man; patient and inventive, wise and resourceful.
  • Recording star Christina Aguilera is our hopeful singer/dancer. Her determination and talent match Cher's; she really can't take "No," for an answer.
  • Tacoma-born Cam Gigandet ("Easy A") is a bartender sporting heavy eyeliner. It's no wonder our would-be starlet thinks he's gay!
  • Eric Dane ("Grey's Anatomy") is the successful real estate developer/landlord with a taste for the good life...and hopeful starlets...
  • Kristen Bell ("You Again") is the nightclub star who is threatened by that talented newcomer.
Cher sings the most tuneful two songs in this film, while Aguilera shows us her range and her vocal power with the rest. Eric Dane is smooth and charming, while Gigandet is our heroine's sweetly exasperated roommate. (He has to watch while success swoops her up in its talons.)

The script plays neatly to Cher's loyal gay devotees while the rest of us laughed in all the right places anyway. Nothing like a good cliché to please an audience.