A summer time movie goer looking for wholesome and energetic fun at the theater should look no further than the movie version of the broadway hit “Mamma Mia.”
Director Phyllida LLoyd translates the eccentric, funny and light-hearted story of Sophie and her mother Donna from stage to screen in a colorful way.
Played by the luminous Meryl Streep, Donna is the epitome of the single hippie mom, doting on her only child, 20 year old Sophie played beautifully and most innocently by Amanda Seyfried, best known for her roles in “Mean Girls” and in the HBO show “Big Love.”
The story takes place on an isolated and beautiful Greek island where Donna runs a hotel that is literally run down. Sophie is a bride-to-be, head over heels in love with her boyfriend Sky. She has a carefree life, and plans to continue to live this dream helping her mother run the hotel. But the only mystery stopping her from complete and utter happiness (as if such a thing were possible in real life) is that she has never had a father.
She soon discovers that she has not one but three potential candidates to be her father and daringly invites them to her upcoming wedding. All of this which her mother knows nothing about.
Needless to say, chaos, confusion and cabaret ensue as the full cast joins in singing and dancing to ABBA’s greatest hits. The 70s Swedish band created such hits as “Mammia Mia” the title song, “Money Money Money,” “Super Troopers,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and “Chiquitita.” These songs as well as numerous others are fitted into the movie tightly and believably and coincide with the characters’ internal struggles and successes.
Whether you were a teenager or not in the 70s, this soundtrack is completely uplifting and and will make even the stiffest viewer tap their feet and mouth the words, unless you have the gall to sing along, which many did. The music is timeless, and can be listened to at any age, at any era of time and the meaning and instrumentals are seamless.
One aspect of the movie that left something to be desired was in the men of the cast. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsg¥rd play the three potential daddy’s to Sophie, who all had summer flings with her
mother that one particular summer, 20 years ago. The cast of these three men and their dynamic together is very funny indeed, but seeing and hearing Brosnan break out into song was more than a little disconcerting to say the least.
What makes up for it is seeing the character Rosie played by Julie Walters dance in spandex and sequins and talk about her love life. you’ll be thinking, “Molly Weasly, really?!” to yourself the entire time. The fact is
she did a stellar job in this role and her character along with Christine Baranski’s seductive and plastic-surgery obsessed Tanya are the perfect sidekicks to Donna.
This movie is about reminiscing, living the carefree life and the bond between a mother and a daughter. While sometimes negligent of this pivotal relationship, the movie takes the time to shallowly delve into the reasoning about why Sophie is getting married and how her mother’s life choices have seriously affected how she lives her life.
Either way, this movie is light and fun and carefree. Take a chance on it.