Mamma Mia the movie suffers the same problem as Mamma Mia the stage show. The plot, while thin, could make a cute romantic comedy. However, the ABBA songs are crowbarred into the plot in ways that are mostly ludicrous and inhibit the plot.
I saw the stage show shortly after it opened in the fall of 2001. I didn’t really enjoy it, although the songs were performed well and it was amusing seeing how the songs were jammed into the plot.
As a film, this works much better. The musical performances are more like individual music videos and they are fun. Not to mention the fact that you’ve got Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård singing the songs. To be honest, Pierce and Stellan probably shouldn’t be singing. Meryl, Christine and Julie are pretty awesome though and Colin Firth holds his own in his one solo moment.
It also helps that the younger cast members are extremely hot, such as Dominic Cooper who plays the groom-to-be.
Among the numbers (or music videos if you’d prefer), I loved “Money, Money, Money” with Meryl on a boat with flowing fabrics. “Dancing Queen” as a huge group number was great fun (great to see ABBA’s Benny Andersson in a quick cameo here on the keyboards). “Lay All Your Love on Me” between a shirtless Sky and his love was beachy fun. “Slipping Through My Fingers” between mother and daughter was a great scene between Meryl and Amanda Seyfried (“Slipping” is also the only number in both versions of Mamma Mia that actually drives the plot). And, the credits aren’t to be missed either with a bring sparklely finale, along with a cameo by ABBA’s other B, Björn Ulvaeus. And when it’s all over, you will never look at Meryl Streep the same way again.
Overall, the movie met my expectations. It’s unfortunate that the creators of the stage show were given such free reign over the movie (same director, same writers). In someone else’s hands this might have been so much better. But, it was well worth the price of admission to see more than a dozen ABBA songs played out against a gorgeous Greek backdrop by such great actors.
Sigh. I just don’t get why people who don’t like the stage show are bothering to see the movie.
It’s sad that the above shot of Cooper never actually appeared in the movie.
They are going because of the actors invovled… it’s what got me in the theater.
I went and saw this with Angela today and we LOVED it!!! Never saw the stage show, though, and i agree that it’s because of the actors (and, well, the fact that I love ABBA songs!). Anything with Meryl Streep is bound to be good…and Pierce Brosnan gets my motor running like few guys!! :-)
I dunno. I still don’t get the logic. Like they say, you can’t polish a turd. If you give Laurence Olivier the role of Jack Tripper, it’s not going to improve the source material. And remember, I LOVE the show. I just accept it for what it is. And I have no doubt in my mind that if they’d cast anyone but Meryl Streep, there’s no way this movie would be getting the attention it’s getting.
I’ll just have to accept that I have an almost sick attraction to this particular commodity and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
I was coerced into seeing Mamma Mia (the play), which ended up being great… as for the movie version, sounds fun, though it’s awkward to think of ol’ Pierce trying to sing, yeeesh