Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Yeah, I like ABBA. Sue me. I haven't had a chance to see the stage version of Mamma Mia! and was eager to watch the movie.
Simply put, it tells of Sophie's attempt to discover the identity of her father in the days before her wedding. The trouble is Donna, her Mom, (played by Meryl Streep) was very . . . adventurous one week twenty years ago, and there are three potential Daddy's. Each gets an invitation to attend the wedding and adventure ensues, while the music of ABBA develops the characters and moves the plot forward.
It's good to see the continuing (if small) revival of movie musicals (High School Musical, Enchanted, etc.) and I was pleasantly surprised, watching the subtitled version of the film, at how many of the lyrics are polished and literate.
I'm not sure if it's a flaw carried over from the stage version or not, but both Lisa and I felt the movie felt disjointed at times. There were some ludicrously naive plot points: the daughter who's sure she'll recognize her father on sight and that when she does "everything [in her life] will fall into place"; the fact that Donna seems unable to put two and two together, turning this into an elaborate episode of Three's Company; and Sophie's out of left field actions during the wedding.
Small complaints, all in all. My biggest problem with the film was that some people (cough Pierce Brosnan cough Meryl Streep cough) were hired for their name and not their voice. Pity that. Kudos to Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) for her great voice and natural beauty, both of which help elevate the film above the norm.
2.8 out of 4