Mamma Mia!

2008-12-12 11:25
 
Mamma Mia!
What it's about:

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a young woman with the world at her feet, she's marrying her childhood sweetheart Sky (Dominic Cooper) and has a happy life living and working at her mother's Greek island taverna. But Sophie's dream to be walked down the aisle by the father she never knew creates chaos when she secretly invites the three men she learns were dating her mother around the time of her conception. They work it all out through the power of ABBA - as all things should, actually.

What we thought of it:

Wow, what a happy, frothy, party film this is! You'll be grinning from ear to ear like a loon throughout the entire 110 minutes. Provided you enjoy musicals, and ABBA-centric ones, of course. Anyone who's a fan of ABBA or the hit musical from which this film is adapted will know what to expect – lots and lots of singing and dancing and general merry-making. None of the socio-political wranglings we saw in last year's Hairspray (2007) or the wicked sexual games of Chicago (2002) here - Mamma Mia! is pure entertainment.

Meryl Streep, naturally, steals the show as Sophie's single mother, Donna. Audiences have never seen her like this before. She plays Donna with energy and enthusiasm and at 58 looks absolutely radiant. Her three past loves who come to see her are architect Sam Carmichael (former 007 Pierce Brosnan), banker Harry Bright (Colin Firth) and the adventurous Bill Austin (Stellan Skarsgård).

Each arrive on the island under the impression that they were personally invited by Donna, but she's mortified to see them again after so many years and has to wrestle with old feelings and buried memories of her carefree youth while planning her daughter's wedding and maintaining her little ramshackle hotel.

Also on the island for the wedding are Donna's two oldest friends, the fun-loving Rosie (Julie Walters) and the wealthy-by-divorce man-eater Tanya (Christine Baranski). Years ago the three performed together as a girl-group called Donna and the Dynamos and for Sophie's bachelorette party they squeeze into their brightly sequined jumpsuits one more time for a special performance. Sam, Harry and Bill soon come to realise that one of them is Sophie's father and separately pledge to Sophie that they will give her away at her wedding.

So, who is Sophie's father? Will Donna remain happily single now that her daughter is flying the coop? And will the cast of seasoned drama actors survive the rigours of ABBA's complicated vocal melodies and keep their credibility intact? On that last score, it's a bit of a hit-and-miss.

Streep is a better singer than she's led us all to believe. Her version of "The Winner Takes it All" is sure to attract attention come award season. Seyfried (who is best known for her TV roles on Veronica Mars and Big Love) is poised to become a star – she and Streep make a convincing mother-daughter team and her rendition of "I Have A Dream" will give you goose bumps.

The older men, unfortunately, are less successful. Brosnan's honeyed speech tones don't translate as well when he has to hold a note – there's a reason why James Bond never serenaded his many conquests – while Firth and Skarsgård are saved by not having much solo material to perform. Though, it's a rare treat to see these usually somber actors play these characters with such wild abandon.

It's easy to forgive the vocal missteps because the songs themselves are so superior. All the classics from "Dancing Queen" to "Voulez-Vous", "SOS" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" are here, and while ABBA fans will find it very difficult not to jump from their seats and sing along, others will find the exuberance of it all rather irritating.

This is one of the best-looking films you'll see this year. The cast are sun-kissed and glowing, and look as if they're having great fun, while the gorgeous Greek island locations are picture-postcard perfect.

And just when you thought it was all happily ever after, the end credits will send you off with its traditional ABBA encore. Be sure not to miss it. It's hilarious.

- Shaheema Barodien

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An all-star cast, including Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, deal with love, family and friendship while getting down to the sounds of ABBA in this fiercely fun musical.

Belinda 2008/09/04 7:00 PM
Mamma Mia Its excellent, best girlie movie I've seen this year. Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar / Golden Globe Award.
Natasha 2008/09/08 11:45 AM
Mamma Mia is brilliant!!!!!!!!! I loved Mamma Mia so much. Meryl Streep is fantastic. I have seen it twice and I cannot wait for the DVD so I can dance along at home haha;-)
Riona 2008/09/08 3:52 PM
Mamma Mia It was brilliant! I had to stop myself from jumping up, screaming, shouting, singing, clapping and dancing along, yes i felt like i could do all that at once:) Still cant get it out of my head, i want a live performance!!!!!please:)
dustin 2008/09/09 12:19 AM
great entertainment i just went cos of my girlfriend, but grew up with ABBA songs in my home.it started badly, but as soon as meryl streep appeared it was like a breath of fresh air! she deserves an oscar for keeing this movie afloat. stupid plot,corny singing by other actors, but what a load of fun! I'M STILL SINGING ABBA SONGS IN MY HEAD :-)
nikita 2008/09/11 11:24 AM
Mama Mia? i haven't watched it, but i can't decide on whether i should because of all the mixed reviews.
Tina Seddon 2008/09/11 10:07 PM
Wanaseeitagain I loved every minute of Mamma Mia, the actors and atresses were excelent and it even jerked a tear or two out of me. The story was kinda true to life and we all have some kinda history and in the end we can live Happily Eva Afta if depending on what we choose.
Denice 2008/09/15 8:50 PM
Fantabulous !!!! I enjoyed the movie so much I am going to see it next weekend again. When the DVD comes out I am going to buy it and watch it every weekend with my mother who loves ABBA. Mamma Mia is good clean fun !!
Amanda 2008/09/18 2:14 PM
Magnifique Whilst I can understand how this movie is not everybody's cup of tea, I can honestly say this is one of my best movies of all time! It is a wonderful movie where you don't have to think, just enjoy! I loved it - from the opening number to the end where the leads are dressed to the 9's in their ABBA gear! What a fantastic film. Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep were AWESEOME!
HELEN 2008/09/19 1:35 PM
fantabulous ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT AND WILL SEE IT AGAIN AND AGAIN - WHAT A FEEL GOOD MOVIE - LOTS OF LAUGHTER & THE SINGING WAS JUST GREAT - IN THIS TIME OF LIVING WITH LOTS OF STRESS, IT WAS JUST THE BEST TO GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY!! WELL DONE MAMMA MIA
Kim 2008/09/25 3:21 PM
What fun What fun!! I went to see the movie with my 18 year old daughter and we laughed, sang along and sobbed our hearts out - it was a real roller coaster ride - perfect mom and daughter material. I always loved ABBA - and who knew Meryl Streep could sing like that!!! The guys were a let down in the vocal department - but it did not matter - it was all very true to life. Stunning stunning stuff!!
Julie 2008/09/29 12:12 PM
Nope :o( I am afraid I did not get a WOW factor from this movie. Although it was entertaining and did give me a few good giggles, I left wondering what the fuss was all about. But that's just me...
LEE-ANNE 2008/10/01 1:58 PM
EXCELLENT I WENT TO SEE THIS MOVIE TWICE AND LOVED IT ON BOTH OCCATIONS.CANT WAIT FOR IT TO COME ON DVD SO I CAN BUY THE MOVIE. IM A GREAT ABBA FAN AND WOULD ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO GO AND SEE IT.ITS THE BEST MOVIE IVE SEEN SO FAR I LOVED IT SO MUCH THERE IS NO WORD TO DESCRIBE IT
COURTNEY 2008/10/03 1:41 PM
There is no word to describe I cant think of a word to describe this wonderful fabulous amazing excellent movie,its gorgeously magnifique.Its just AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sadia 2008/10/13 12:54 PM
:-) I absolutely l00000000ved it!!!!!! especially the music :) Definately a new all time favourite...
meshack 2008/10/22 2:19 PM
mama mia mama mia
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