Mamma Mia! (2008)

Though I haven't seen it in ages, Mamma Mia! is still my favourite musical. Maybe it's because it's the first adult film, and by adult I mean non-animated film, I saw on the big screen with my mother, or maybe because it actually is a pretty good film, but I love it. Since there's still plenty of time since the sequel hits theatres (September in my shitty country and yes, I'm going with my mom this time too) I rewatched this and I took advantage of it to review it. 

Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), a 20-year-old who lives on a beautiful Greek island with her mother Donna (Meryl Streep) and is about to get married, has only one dream, that her father walks her down the aisle. The problem is that she has no idea who her father is. So when she finds her mother's old diary and learns her mother had three relationships before she was born, she invites the three men on the island, absolutely positive that she would recognize her father as soon as she sees it. Of course she doesn't, and things get way more complicated as Donna finds out the three men are on the island.

Based on the famous musical of the same day (which I haven't seen but I'm planning to), the plot is pretty easy and cheesy, it's quite predictable and it's plenty of holes and inconsistencies, and it kinda feels like an excuse to sing ABBA songs, but it's engaging and fun, and I find myself invested in it every single time I watch the movie.

And the main reason is the songs. They are the soul, the driving force of Mamma Mia!. They fit the plot perfectly --which is pretty normal considering the film/musical was based on the Swedish band's songs-- and they really help in keeping your hooked. There are so much energy and joy in the musical scenes that it makes you want to sing and dance along. At least, that's what this movie does for me. As I said above, they are relevant to the story --not all of them, though--, they help the plot move forward and they convey the feelings of the characters very well.

Universal Pictures
The characters aren't very strong --they lack development and don't have a lot of substance-- but they are fun to watch and you eventually care for them. And the credits go to the cast. Amanda Seyfried carries the film very well playing Sophie, the energetic young woman who is determined to find her father, and does a pretty good job singing-wise. Meryl Streep, I'm not sure she was the right cast to play Donna, but she handles the role quite well. Christine Baranski though will always be my favourite. She adds the comedy the film needs as Tanya, one of Donna's old friends. She even gets her solo act and she kills it. Julie Walters, who plays Rosie, Donna's other friend, is good too.

As for Donna's three old flames, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård, it looks like they are having so much fun in this. They don't have great singing voices -Brosnan's is pretty awful to be honest-- but that only adds to the movie. It makes it even funnier. And Dominic Cooper brings charisma to the film as Sky, Sophie's boyfriend.

At last, there's the visual aspect of Mamma Mia!. I was very impressed with it when I was younger, and I gotta say the Greek scenery still amazes me and looks beautiful, but it doesn't look real. The backgrounds often look like photoshops. I guess most of the film was filmed in a studio and then poor green screen skills happened.

13 comments :

  1. I'm not a huge Abba fan so I didn't love this one as much as I should have - but I still enjoyed it! I hope you love the sequel just as much :)

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  2. It's an alright film as I do love ABBA's music (which is shocking considering that I also love music by Slayer, the Jesus & Mary Chain, and other weird and noisy shit). Meryl and much of the cast can sing. Pierce Brosnan.... NO!!!!!!!! I never want to hear him sing ever again.

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    1. It's not that shocking, my music library ranges from Beethoven to Ramstein. YES to Pierce Brosnan never singing again.

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    2. Beethoven & Rammstein? FUCK YEAH!!!!!!! You can't beat that combo.

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  3. Oh boy, I LOVE this movie. Funny because it's also a thing with my mother, but I suppose the movie does play with mother-daughter relationships, and we both love ABBA so... makes sense. It's a running joke in our house because my dad hates this movie and we make him watch it over and over again 😂

    I agree with everything you said - I can clearly the see the flaws, I know it's far from perfect, but it's such a fun movie that I simply don't care. Everyone looks like they had a ton of fun, so the silly and superficial are fine by me.

    It helps that they're all great actors, even if Brosnan can't sing for his life, no 😂

    Not sure how I'll feel about the sequel, but I hope it's good! I do like the actress playing a young Donna.

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    1. We tried to make my dad watch it once but he just didn't care and felt asleep at some point lol

      I like Lily James a lot too (Baby Driver made me fall in love with her)

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  4. I love this film because I am a huge ABBA fan and have all their records..yes, records. I wanted to see them when they had their Voulez-Vous tour but my mom said no because there would be drugs there. I just looked at her blankly and said, "mom...It's ABBA." I also told my mom that my brother goes to see led Zeppelin and The Who (2 weeks after that bad incident in Cincinnati) but she would not budge. Pierce Brosnan said he sings horribly but found this film to be fun especially being on the Greek Aisles. Colin Firth also laughed at his "singing" voice. They could have picked someone other than Merryl who can't really sing that great...thank heavens for the Chorus and Christine Baranski. I thought most was film around the Greek islands and that the church is real, being on top of that cliff.

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    1. I have some of their records too. Actually, they are my mother's. Anyway, I can't believe your mother wouldn't let you see them!

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  5. This film does look beautiful, I agree! I liked it too. Abba's songs are so catchy.

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    1. It makes me so happy that so many people like/love it.

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  6. Nice review! I was so happy that Netflix recently added this. I love musicals, and Mamma Mia is one of my faves, even though like you pointed it out, it has flaws. But it's a fun movie, especially because of ABBA, and sometimes that's all we need. :)

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