Flip back and forth between an episode of Maury when he’s interviewing a woman who doesn’t know who her baby daddy is and My Big Fat Greek Wedding while playing ABBA’s greatest hits album in the background. Add a dose of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnen and you get Mamma Mia!.
Actually, the movie is much better then that, in that it is able to take a “whose my daddy?” story line and make it fun and enjoyable to watch.
The story focuses on the wedding of Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried of Mean Girls fame), who was raised by her single mother Donna (Meryl Streep) a former member of the pop group “Donna and the Dynamos”. Sophie wants the perfect white wedding and dreams of the father she never knew giving her away. In an attempt to hold some semblance of a Parent Trap like reunion, Sophie invites three men who were all with her mother around the same time, believing that when she meets the men she will be able to tell which one is her dad.
Amanda Seyfried was the star in my book, proving that she is more then just a dumb blond who played second banana to Lindsay Lohan. Not only does Seyfreid convey a respectable yet not over the top amount of angst of growing up without a father, she’s got a stellar voice as well. Christine Baranski and Julie Waters, who play Donna’s best friends and former band mates, bring the right amount of encouraging and supportive sidekicks while still maintaining a cougar like attitude.
The one true downfall of the movie is thinking that James Bond was a substantial prerequisite for a musical. From an acting standpoint Pierce Brosnan played Sam, on of Sophie’s three potential fathers nicely, but his singing left much to be desired…like a vocal dubbing. He doesn’t sing till late in the film, but the second he opened his mouth the entire theater burst into giggles, and nothing about his song was meant to be comedic. I do have to give Brosnan credit for trying, but he should really stick to being a total bad-ass.
Mamma Mia! will please fans of ABBA and of the Broadway show, as well as anyone searching for a die hard chick flick.
The Upside: An all around feel good film that will make you wish you grew up on a Greek Island.
The Downside: Pierce Brosnan’s singing voice was cringe inducing and you will have Dancing Queen stuck in your head for days.
On the Side: In the background of one scene you can see a poster advertising a show for “Donna and the Dynamos” appearing at a bar called Fernando’s (also a song by ABBA).