A cold, gloomy, nasty afternoon in a hotel in Canada. Five hours until warm-up time in the orchestra pit. Take a walk? ¡Ni modo, Quasimodo! Rent a flick? Why not!
You'll have to believe me that I have no prior ABBA consciousness, despite the fact that I spent half my childhood in Sweden. I was in Mediterranean and Caribbean lands when they 'conquered' the Anglophone pop music world. I heard or read the name. Honestly, I thought they were another 'heavy metal' or Swedish vampyr band. I had no idea what they looked or sounded like. My wife tells me now that we danced to ABBA covers at innumerable family weddings over the past 25 years, but I never pay much attention when I'm trying to shake my booty without looking as dorky as I feel. Okay, do I suddenly love their music now, after seeing/hearing "Mamma Mia!"? Well... it's bouncy and sweet, but no way will it displace Dufay or Scarlatti on my iPod. ABBA is musically as corny as their costumes -- a 1970s period piece. Apologies to their fans, and to all Swedes everywhere. Hurray for IKEA! Hurray for ABBA! Sweden needs all the export credits it can get.
And now the movie review! The most artful thing about Mamma Mia is the integration of the songs and chorus-line numbers into the melodrama. Reviewer JP, whose recommendation of this film was responsible for me picking it up, commented on the "Greek Chorus" of Greeks serving as a human and musical backdrop for the jet set cast of English speakers. She's right, and it was effective. I'm so far out of touch with Broadway that I thought JP's praise of the music/drama blend sounded just like Bollywood. I've seen a lot of Bollywood films. I urged JP to have a look at Lagaan, one of my favs. Bottom line? Mamma Mia is almost... almost... as artful at squeezing into and out of musical extravaganzas as Bollywood, though the ABBA songs are less appealing. Keep practicing, USA! You'll catch up with India some day.
The story? Mildly amusing, absolutely predictable, jolly enough to keep me watching. Merle Streep looks remarkably like my sister, or vice versa. I get a kick out of the resemblance, and I was delighted to see my 'sister' having so much fun in a role. Streep's enjoyment of her own feeble singing was infectious. I was tickled to watch my usually dour countryman, Stellan Skarsgård, try to act zany. Zaniness is not intuitive for Swedes. Stellan and I look a lot alike, also, though I'm in better shape. I took a sardonic pleasure in watching him look hopelessly dorky when he danced. At the other extreme, the spark-plug friend of Mamma - I didn't catch her name, the tall one who can really sing and dance - is obviously a real Broadway-ite, and carried the film at times when others were looking vague about their blocking. The young'uns were cast for their looks, and look they did. Some credit has to go to the Greek Islands for the exuberance of the film also; I've spent time on Mykonos, Skiathos, Santorini, etc., and my own nostalgia for those times mixed into the characters of the three middle-aged guys who 'came back wishing they'd never left.' Too bad, now that I think of it, that there wasn't any Greek music at this Greek wedding!
Five stars? Hey, just like it says on the box: "a hilarious, rousing & joyous celebration!"
Pros: Excellent performances by all involved; the music is still great after all these years. Cons: Mr. Brosnan can’t sing. The Bottom Line: In my estimation Mamma Mia! deserved all of the hype surrounding its release… Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I am usually not one for musicals, but I did enjoy the music of the Swedish Pop group ABBA like everyone seemed to in ‘70’s … more
Mamma Mia! is about Sophie (played by the very talented Amanda Seyfried) who wants her father to give her away at her wedding. Only problem is: she doesn't know who the father is! So she reads her mother (played by Meryl Streep)'s diary dated near the time of her conception and finds 3 potential candidates (She takes her mother's promiscuity a lot better than I would have). Her plan is to invite them all to the wedding and find out who her father is. But of course, … more
Writing a "critical" review of this movie would be an exercise in futility. This film is a throwback to the ensemble productions of the 1930s. A bunch of very talented people, some of whom are inconceivable in these roles, all coming together and having a great time together. Everything works, even the parts that don't. It's a silly plot line (a young girl on the eve of her wedding trying to find who of three men is her father), the singing is often … more
"Mamma Mia" No Expectations, Pleasant Surprise Amos Lassen There isn't a whole lot to say about "Mamma Mia" that has not been said but I will try. I was living in Israel when Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest and "Abbamania" took over Europe. I think I knew every Abba song by heart and as much as it was bubblegum music, I loved it. So when I heard that there was going to be a Broadway musical with Abba songs, I wondered how … more
Beautiful Sophie, who lives on a Greek isle with her mother (Meryl Streep), is about to get married and wants her father to give her away, but who IS he? Twenty years ago, Mom had flings with three men. Each man receives an invitation to attend the wedding and Sophie is sure she'll find her dad among them. This is a total chick flick for not-so-spring chickens (like me). I liked it okay, but I was expecting to really love it. It's a fluffy, sun-drenched giggle-fest, … more
Meryl Streep gets to show her funny side once again, playing Donna, a single mother struggling with the upkeep of her hotel on a small Greek island while raising her only daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) Sophie's about to get married, and is desperately seeking someone paternal to give her away. By sneaking a peek at an old diary, she contacts Harry, Bill and Sam (Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Pierce Brosnan) thinking that she can solve the mystery. Short … more
Many know or are familiar with the music; "Mama Mia!" is all ABBA; fun, whimsical, outright blissful and enjoyable. The question is how does this movie soundtrack hold up? The answer is that it's pretty good. Right off hand, I felt some of the movie versions of these songs were a bit too campy and lacked the hard-to-capture spirit of the original. The songs where Pierce Brosnan sings on made me cringe, really taking me as a listener out of the song and making me feel thankful that he isn't featured … more
Mamma Mia! is a fictional musical based on the songs of Swedish pop band ABBA. A movie based on the musical was released in summer 2008, and starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Amanda Seyfried. Both the movie and the musical have been internationally popular and commercial successes.
The story takes place in the Greek islands, and begins with Sophie, who is getting married. Because she doesn't know who her father is, she invites her mother's previous lovers to the wedding, and tries to deduce the mystery.
Meryl Streep leads an all-star cast in the feature-film adaptation of the beloved musical that has been seen by more than 30 million people in 160 cities and 8 languages around the world. Bringing the timeless lyrics and melodies of iconic super group ABBA to movie audiences, Summer 2008 is the season for MAMMA MIA!
Produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, MAMMA MIA s all-star cast which, in addition to Meryl Streep, includes Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper. (Universal Pictures)
An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna (Streep) is about to let go of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), the spirited daughter she s raised alone. For Sophie s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends practical and no-nonsense Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski) from her ...