Rating: 3.5 Pulses
Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
It’s dangerous putting out a musical film these days. If filmmakers aren’t careful they could have a confusing mix on their hands, like Dreamgirls. Or, they could strike gold, like 2005’s The Producers.
This summer’s undeniable leader in toe-taps per audience member is definitely Mamma Mia!
This remake of one of West End’s longest-running plays uses the expansive catalog of Swedish pop sensation ABBA to tell the story of one young and confused bride, Sophie (Seyfried), her strong single mother, Donna (Streep), and her three possible fathers, Sam, Harry and Bill, played by Brosnan, Firth and Stellan Skarsg’rd, respectively.
Drama ensues! As does a series of ecstatic (and damn near silly) scenes, songs and dances. It looks like the cast had an amazing time making this film, the energy comes through in every performance.
A few disclaimers: it is going to be best loved by strong adult women; do not go see it if you take yourself too seriously, go ahead and start laughing and smiling, it’ll be easier on you; and most importantly, be prepared to love ABBA all over again.
Streep is perfect as single mom Donna. Her versatility is endless, although this isn’t her first time in a roll where singing plays a big part. She proved she had the chops in 2006’s A Prairie Home Companion.
But whoever decided to give Brosnan a roll where he had to sing was making a mistake. The audience literally broke into laughter every time he opened his mouth and in each number his face screwed up in obvious distaste at producing such braying.
Shot at the Greek islands Skopelos and Skiathos and seaside hamlet Pelion, Mamma Mia! literally sparkles the whole way through. It’s fun and sure to cause sporadic dancing. I want the soundtrack.