Despite the fact that Hubby was always more of a fan of Abba music than I was, I could not persuade him to go with me to the cinema to see Mamma Mia’. So, last Tuesday afternoon, a girl friend and I trotted off to the matinee performance at a local Cineworld. Did Mamma Mia live up to expectations then?, I hear you ask. The answer is a resounding YES, and then some.
This film is based on a very successful stage production. Both the film and the theatre version are musicals, the music being on the whole well known Abba songs. There were a few songs that I had not heard of and I assume that these were written for the show.
The story is set on a Greek Island and I noted at the end of the film that it was filmed on the Greek Islands of Skopelos and Skiathos, as well as having some studio filming. Now although I have never visited either of these Greek Islands I have visited many others. I love the Greek Islands and loved the settings shown in the film. With all of our house problems this year a holiday is not possible but Mamma Mia’ offered a welcome trip to Greece, even if only for a brief time. I could almost smell those lovely island scents and the bougainvillea looked near enough to touch.
The plot revolves around a young girls, Sophies, wedding plans for her father to give her away on her big day. As she has never met her father and has no idea who he is this seems an impossible task. However by nosing in an old diary of her mother’s she narrows the possibilities down to three of her mother’s past lovers and sets about getting them to her wedding. As all of the other invited guests begin to arrive on the Island so do these three men also, much to Sophie’s mother’s surprise.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS FILM.
The cast were all excellent. There was more than a smattering of well known performers as well as lesser known ones. Among the highlight performances there were:-
MERYL STREEP as Sophie’s Mum, Donna. She is a favourite of mine but I was surprised at the strength of her singing voice. When towards the end she belts out The Winner Takes It All’ she managed to get a tear to my eye, which is no mean feat.
JULIE WALTERS who plays one of Donna’s close friends. Julie provides all the usual humour that the viewer expects of her.
CHRISTINE BARANSKI playing Donna’s other close friend, from the past. She provided glamour as well as humour.
The three potential Dads played by PIERCE BROSNAN, COLIN FIRTH and STELLAN SKARSGARD were all just perfect. Sure Pierce Brosnan’s singing voice was a bit raw around the edges but that just seemed to add to the fun of this film.
Finally AMANDA SEYFRIED as the young bride to be Sophie was excellent. She had a lovely singing voice, acted well and looked the part.
There were of course plenty of other performers and some of these took more than one role. This reminded me that it was adapted from a stage production, as this is what often happens in the theatre.
I loved the typical Greek village and scenery. There was some breathtaking views.
I found the plot had more to it than I would have imagined. As a more mature woman myself, Donna and her two friends memories and exploits were all the more poignant.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS FILM.
Well I suppose it was a little corny and cheesy in parts but that just seemed to be intentional and part of the fun.
It was too short at 108 minutes and should have been at least four times as long!. Only joking but you know what I mean.
ABBA SONGS IN THE FILM
The film opens with young Sophie and a sweet rendition of “I Have A Dream”. From here on in there is one classic Abba song after another, such as:-
Money, Money, Money
Our Last Summer
Lay All Your Love On Me
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!(A Man After Midnight)
Does Your Mother Know
Slipping Through My Fingers
The Winner Takes It All
Knowing Me, Knowing You
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
When All Is Said And Done
Take A Chance On Me
The Name Of The Game
As you must have surmised I absolutely loved this film. I would watch it again and again and again. I am not the world’s biggest fan of musicals but the musical score just worked so well in this film. The way the songs are worked into the script fits perfectly. There is nothing at all that I could fault. The cast, characters, humour, sentimental moments, scenery and script all just worked so well. Mamma Mia has such a feel good factor I could not believe it. Sure this film will not suit everyone but I came home and told hubby, quite truthfully, that it was the best film I have seen for ages and I stand by that statement.
I suppose this may not seem a very objective review but as I say I was not expecting to enjoy this film as much as I did. Probably Mamma Mia will be classed as one for the girlies, in particular those of a certain age. However in general I would say that it is just a good, fun movie that has a lot to offer to a wide range of viewers. If you enjoy the music of Abba it will be a definite for you.
If you want to be up dancing and singing with everyone else during this film you would probably be as well choosing an evening showing. Our matinee was relatively quiet as there were not that many people in the audience. However we still all managed to sing, and tap our feet, along to the great music.
I give Mamma Mia 10/10 on all counts and recommend it as a great fun film. Personally I think it will lose a little when shown as a DVD on a small screen a home, unless you have on those new huge televisions dwarfing your sitting room.