In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.
Set on a colorful Greek island, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna, who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her backup singers, Rosie and Tanya.Written by
After the final scene of the movie Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters appear on a sound stage in matching 1970s glam-rock costumes and sing "Dancing Queen". When they finish Meryl 'asks' the audience if they want an encore. The three ladies are then joined by Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard who are similarly attired. Along with Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, they provide a rendition of "Waterloo" as the main credits roll. See more »
The song (and scene that accompanied the song), "The Name of The Game", was removed from the film, but reinstated as a special feature in the DVD release. See more »
If you think you'll love/hate it then you probably will for the same reasons as those that feel the opposite way
The critical and audience reactions to this film seemed to suggest that it was very much a Marmite of a film, with people either loving it or hating it. By the time I thought I should check it out, the "biggest film of the year" had become a sing-a-long classic and I decided to wait for the DVD. Watching it myself I can totally understand why this reaction was forthcoming and it is not really down to the film so much as it is the viewers. See, those that hate it will do so for the same reasons as those that love it. Mamma Mia is a film version of a stage-show but it is not an adaptation in that it has been made into a film so much as it is a stage musical made into a film. What I mean by this clunky sentence is that all the standards of the cheesy musical have been left in from "big" action, colour and simple dumb cheer.
For me personally this doesn't really appeal and nor did I particularly enjoy the film as it did feel all forced smiles and joys, scenes shoe-horned to fit the lyrics and fake fun in the actors and extras. By the end I had pretty much had as much camp fun as I could really stand and was glad it was done. Now others have taken that to mean that the film is rubbish, but it isn't it just didn't work for you either. However for what it does Mamma Mia is actually very good because it knows who it is aiming for and what it has to do. Yes this means that it is daft and cheesy but that sort of "big" cheerfulness is what the target audience want they want to feel elated and lifted even if it isn't real in any form. In that regard the film delivers as it is built on beautiful colours in the sets and costumes and a cast that put their egos to one side and throw themselves into it.
This last part is important because to my disinterested eye all the star actors came off looking daft. Streep is certainly not someone I expected to be doing this and to her credit she throws herself into it, showing a camp overacting side I didn't know she had. Likewise Walters, Baranski, Firth, Brosnan and Skarsgård all do much the same albeit to varying degrees of success. If you're into it then the "big" performances are all part of the fun but if, like me, you're not, then it will be endlessly embarrassing and it will be hard to shake the feeling that I was watching award-winning actors making themselves look and sound like muppets. Of course that is why they are "good" in the context of what the film is trying to be and yet at the same time "bad" if you are not in the swing of the film.
What we are left with then is a film that we have seen plays really well to those that get it but leaves everyone else wondering why on earth people like Streep and Walters would make such nonsense. I personally disliked it but that does not make it a "bad" film, only a bad one from my point of view. For what it sets out to do though, it is a winning achievement full of cheerful cheese and lots of colour. In fact, it is such a targeted film that you will already know whether you will love it or hate it long before you press play.
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