Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review: Mamma Mia! (2008)


First: If you don't like ABBA's music, you are basically a monster.

I grew up around this stuff. No, I wasn't raised on ABBA, but whenever it was on the radio, my mom would sing along with it and eventually I would know the words too. When I was 12 or 13, I got ABBA Gold (Their Greatest Hits) for Christmas, a personal request.

I was also fortunate to see Mamma Mia! on stage not too long after that.

So yeah, I'm not a monster.

There must be something somewhere, where you can have a bad story, bad acting, bad singing, and still have an enjoyable movie where you can't help but giggle happily.

This isn't true of all musicals based off of classic pop songs. Case in Point: Across the Universe.

But here is a case of exactly that; Mamma Mia! Has a flawed storyline. What kind of girl grows up with no knowledge of her father, then all of a sudden wants a "perfect wedding" where her daddy gives her away at the altar? That doesn't sound like it would be special to me. It would probably be awkward.

Second, the acting. I usually love Meryl Streep, but she was sort of unwatchable in this. Her face was never right, and her singing was way way below par. The three potential fathers? Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, and Colin Firth. Of those three, who is chosen to be the main guy whom Streep's Donna has been so helplessly in love with after all these years? Pierce Brosnan? The man looks ridiculous when he sings. Stellan Skarsgard is good as the wild adventurer Bill, but Colin Firth is pitch-perfect as the uptight, conservative-but-wants-to-be-wild, befuddled Englishman that he always does so well. I wish he was one of my three dads.

The only other exception in acting is the great Julie Walters. Donna's friends are sassy and memorable, and Walters fits the bill. A british writerr, who would rather see the world than look at another man.

Still, if this movie doesn't make you smile, it might be a good idea to check your pulse.

Grade: B

1 comment:

movie buff said...

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