PG-13:for some sex-related comments
Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd
Written By: Catharine Johnson
Staring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Julie Walters
Typical isn’t it? You wait 20 years for a dad and then three come along at once. -Rosie
Does Stellan Skarsgard really have to wear his scarf in every movie he’s in? His theatrical nature and desire for over the top things fit right in with the theme of Mamma Mia. From the moment this film starts and the familiar score begins and the screen becomes flooded with the vibrant colors of the Mediterranean it’s clear there is no avoiding the dramaturgic exuberance of musicals. Mamma Mia might not be everyones cup of tea, at first it’s a lot to take in, but somehow it grows on you.
It’s amazing how young and fresh Meryl looks and feels. Besides the fact that I’m convinced she’s a vampire anyway, she looks insanely spirited and vigorous Musicals are a little corny and at first Mamma Mia is overwhelming, feeling a little too like theatre, giving the love of ABBA, but also making you feel like you’d rather be listening to ABBA. It might annoy for a bit and at moments, but if you can stick with it, it manages to compensate with it’s manic charm.
Manic is the right word to describe this film. Meryl’s performance in particular is manic and crazy, though her singing was pretty good. In fact all the actors sang relatively well, save Pierce Brosnan . As a huge fan of his it was difficult to watch some of his more painful moments of singing. Even with his awkward singing his performance his character was still compelling, making thetrifecta father issue a little more believable. Amanda Seyfried was absolutely Divine. Beautiful and infectious, she steals the show in each scene she is in, and her voice was simply magnificent.
The music does tend to consume the story and at times it just seems an excuse to promote the band ABBA, but there is such a genuine affection and love for the music, for the time, and for musicals it is hard pressed to not get caught up in the enthusiasm it boasts. The comedy and tongue in cheek humor throughout makes it far more than an overwhelming cheesy recordings of ABBA. The topic matter may seem a bit adult tuned, but the rest of the movie is so silly it is a reasonably enjoyable movie for the whole family.
The three “Dads” turn out to be the best part of the story, but mostly because of the actors playing them. They are thoroughly enjoyable to take in and make every scene they are in just a little more tangible for those that probably have a hard time stomaching musicals. There is a level of creativity that plays into this movie that can’t be denied. With abrilliant soundtrack and solid acting, it’s difficult not to just resolve yourself and laugh. How can you not laugh at a group of men that emerge from the ocean singing and dancing in Flippers. There’s no point in taking it seriously, but definitely enjoyable.