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Mamma Mia!

A 2008 movie starring Meryl Streep

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It Will Not Win Any Oscar’s, But the Movie is Great Fun

  • Dec 28, 2009
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 and ‘80’s; there I admitted that I liked ABBA!  So a musical—Mamma Mia! (2008)—set to the bubblegum pop music of ABBA needed to be seen, especially one staring the timeless Meryl Streep was not to be missed.  So I watched and…          


Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, with screenplay by Catherine Johnson, the plot of Mamma Mia! Is built entirely around the songbook of ABBA, which are performed throughout the movie by the cast.  The lithe Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Veronica Mars, Big Love) portrays 20-year-old Sophie.  Sophie is getting married and wants to know who her father is; it can be one of three men Bill (Stellan Skarsgard ~ The Glass House, Dogville, Entourage), Sam (Pierce Brosnan ~ Noble House, Goldeneye, The Matador), and Harry (Colin Firth ~ The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Bridget Jones’s Diary).

But Sophie’s mother Donna (Meryl Steep ~ Out of Africa, Plenty, Angels in America) doesn’t know that she invited the men, but she discovers them, and together with her two best friends Rosie (Julie Walters ~ Harry Potter movies) and Tanya (<a>Christine Baranski ~ Law & Order, Cybill, The Good Wife) she tries to ferret out the reason for their unannounced visit.  Lots of singing and dancing ensues whilst the answer is arrived at. 
My Thoughts

Bubblegum music or no, the music of ABBA is infectious and still fun to listen to.  And watching Mamma Mia!, however silly the premise was just great fun.  Is the movie Oscar material? No, but I seriously don’t think it was meant to be.  Can Pierce Brosnan sing? No, but I over looked that because at least he tried!  Did Meryl Streep look at tad out of place?  Well, yes, if you take in her enormous body of work and juxtapose it against Mamma Mia!, but at least it looked as though the woman had fun making this campy little move. 

And that’s the point, to have fun.  Not every movie has to redeem mankind, not every movie has to have a great moral message, and ah-ha moment. It’s okay for a movie to just make you smile, and Mamma Mia! made me smile, and hum, and relive a time period when ABBA ruled the air waves with one catchy tune after another.  I woke up this morning with them still parading in my head; Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, The Winner Takes it All, Take a Chance On Me, all songs from the movie. 

Speaking of the music from the movie, Ms. Streep and company were called upon to perform and they more than did the songs justice, except for the aforementioned Mr. Brosnan.  Ms. Streep has a credible singing voice, ditto for Ms. Seyfried and the Julliard-trained, Broadway bred Christine Baranski.  Of course it helped that the songs were well produced and engineered and the ladies had a host of backup singers (no doubt professionals) t assist them.

In my estimation Mamma Mia! deserved all of the hype surrounding its release; the movie was fun to watch and like the music that inspired it, infectious and a bit campy. But every once and a while, that’s okay. 


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children up Ages 8

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More Mamma Mia! (movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I love this movie. Meryll and Amanda pull off their rolls perfectly...and the songs are pretty rocking too.
review by . January 25, 2009
    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, …
review by . April 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . January 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . December 19, 2008
"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 …
review by . December 15, 2008
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, …
review by . September 03, 2008
Mamma Mia!
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 …
review by . July 08, 2008
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 …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #40
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie


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 ...
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Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: December 16, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 108 Minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
First to Review

"A Decent Soundtrack"
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