This is not a review of Mamma Mia, The Movie - it's a public rejoicing about how much I loved this movie and how lucky I am.
Philo and I saw it a few weeks ago at the Arbor when it came out. He's a good sport and I'm glad he liked it.
MSS of Zanthan Gardens and I saw it yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse.
Yes, that's MSS and Mamma Mia and the Drafthouse...envy is the only appropriate response.
I have a lot to say. If you're planning on going to Mamma Mia and are afraid of spoilers, please come back after you've seen it.
If you don't like musicals, don't like Meryl, don't like women over 50 or don't like ABBA there's not much point to your being here. Anyone still reading?
Thought pops on Mamma Mia:
ABBA was not even on my radar when they were a big deal around 1980... perhaps we were listening to Vangelis and Willie Nelson and Steve Goodman? Or more likely our young children were watching Sesame Street and the Brady Bunch. TV and Stereo shared the same space back then.
I didn't found out why this group was so popular until ABBA music was used in a couple of films from Australia - Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert .
Meryl Streep is a genius. Pierce Brosnan is fine brandy - better all the time. Why has he taken such hits for his singing in Mamma Mia? He's not a wailing juvenile pop singer! He's a mature troubador whose every word is full of emotion. We're talking Gordon Lightfoot not American-frickin-Idol.
When Julie Walters and Christine Baranski and Meryl Streep are together I see echoes of the classic characters the Three Musketeers, with Meryl/Donna as Athos, Julie/Rosie as Porthos, Christine/Tanya as Aramis and Amanda Seyfried/Donna's daughter Sophie, as d'Artagnan. This doesn't have anything to do with swordfights and plumed hats ...it came out in the physical comedy and personalities of the three friends. And in the 24 carat gold flakes and donkey testicles.
In the scene above the song is "Dancing Queen". It was funny and exhuberant and it made me tear up...all the women in the Greek Island town joining in the song - young and old, beautiful and plain, of every body type. You can suppress and bury your dancing queen but she's still waiting for a chance to spin again.
Robert Heinlein had Jubal Harshaw say this in Stranger In A Strange Land: A great artist can ...make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart....no matter what the merciless hours have done.
But for Meryl and her band it's not a quiet, endless tragedy - keeping the 18-year old girl safe in their hearts is a triumph.
That Pierce Brosnan and the adorable Colin Firth could be funny and charming was not a surprise...that the usually dour and threatening Swedish actor Stellan Starsgard could be funny and charming and smiling at women was enchanting. Donna had excellent taste.
Do guys know that they are a lot sexier when they are intelligently funny?
The idea of visiting Greek Islands never had any appeal for me until I saw this movie. It would take months of training first - those hills and stairs are daunting. Meryl is in great shape and the whole ramshackle island resort is a wonderful set.
The beautiful scene where Donna helps Sophie get dressed for the wedding and does her hair was overwhelming. If you are a mother of a daughter watch out for this one.
The scene when the guys come to take Dominic Cooper/Sky off to his bachelor party, dancing on the pier in swim fins to "Lay All Your Love On Me" sure took the song in an unexpected direction, as did Christine Baranski's "Does Your Mother Know" with boy-toy Phillip Michael. Very Broadway.
Traditional musicals have lyrics that are written for a certain point in the story - for Mamma Mia the songs existed as separate works. I've read that Catherine Johnson refashioned the plotline of Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell to fit the lyrics. I find that very interesting.
I may have to edit this and add more. Although the DVD doesn't have any projected release date, the soundtrack is out. If I buy that it might lead to another post! Or maybe somebody else wants company and I'll see it a third time. More Pierce in a wet, white shirt.
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