Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mamma Mia (2008)

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much Ive missed you...

What could be more fun than a chick flick?

How about a musical chick flick? How about a chick flick set on a gorgeous Greek island? How about a chick flick with Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth SINGING, along with numerous attractive younger men?

How about that same film along with two of your most fun-loving friends?

Now you've got the picture! This is how I spent my afternoon today - watching the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Mamma Mia!

Sophie is getting married and she doesn't know who her father is, but she wants him to walk her down the aisle. She reads her mom's diary and realizes that there are three possibilities for her paternity. (Yes, this could lead to some interesting discussions with kids.) She invites all three men to her wedding on the remote Greek island where her mother runs a small hotel. Hilarity, misunderstanding, and surprising sweetness ensue.

If your intent is to watch a serious drama, this is not your show! Be prepared for a somewhat silly movie musical filled with music from the 1970's group ABBA. Characters break out in dance routines at the first sound of a song! So, if you can suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself into an ABBA-infused Greek island for a couple of hours, this is your movie!

Meryl Streep plays Sophie's mother Donna, and, yes, in a departure from her usual dramatic roles, she sings and dances and is quite funny and always engaging! The three possible fathers are played with aplomb by Pierce Brosnan (James Bond, Remington Steele), Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy!), and Stellan Skarsgard (Pirates of the Caribbean).

The sound system in the theatre was not effective and I found it difficult to hear the solo singing tracks, although the music came through fine. I have heard much criticism of Brosnan's singing, but it seemed fine to me. I wasn't expecting Michael Buble' or Josh Groban, though, so my expectations were low to start with.

I enjoyed all of the music, although I only recognized about one third of the songs. ABBA was never my favorite group - I was not into popular music during their heydey although I think Take a Chance on Me was the first pop song I ever learned. That was in about 1979. But who can resist Dancing Queen, S.O.S., or The Winner Takes It All?

The island setting was lovely. I want to live there! The night scenes were especially entrancing. The colors of the costumes were designed to stand out. We especially got a kick out of the platform boots and ruffly sparkly 1970's costumes! And we all wanted Sophie's hair!

What about the story? Since many people reading this will be concerned about the morality of the plot, I will reassure you that the paternity issue is handled in the best possible way. Donna is not proud of her actions during the summer of Sophie's conception, but neither does she lie about the issue when confronted. (Apparently up until now, she has been silent on the issue of Sophie's paternity.) This is definitely PG-13 material, but no embarrassing sex scenes are included. Some risque talk and dance moves are present. Several characters drink wine and margaritas. A storyline including a homosexual character is also revealed, but it is not a central plot point, nor is it made much of.

My friends and I are the kind of moviegoers that you probably don't want to sit by! We had so much fun watching this together that when we exited the theatre, several perfect strangers saw our giggles and asked ironically if we had enjoyed the movie. "Yes, we did!" We all want to see it again, and in fact, we are considering buying platform boots and sequined outfits!

Oh, and be sure to stick around for the encore! information on Mamma Mia review for Mamma Mia

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