Oct 25, 2010

Mamma Mia! (2008) - thank you for the music, indeed

directed by Phyllinda Lloyd / starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Amanda Seyfried

Today wasn't my day. I sat in front of a blank page with a blank mind, and after some desperate pondering (that went nowhere) I closed the document, left the computer, picked a DVD from my shelf and put Mamma Mia! on. Because sometimes there are days, when that's all you can do - forget about deadlines and enjoy one and a half hours of pure joy.

In the movie version of a hugely popular stage musical hit, Sophie invites three men to her wedding, wishing to find her real father. She bases her hopes to her mum's, named Donna, old diary entries. Figuring out which one of the three candidates shares her DNA turns out to be quite a ride... So Mamma Mia, here we go again.

It's really quite amazing how all those ABBA songs seem to fit so well in the story, without hardly any changes in the lyrics. Donna is having Money Money Money problems. Donna best friends Rosie and Tanya want Donna to let out her inner Dancing Queen again. The father candidates Sam, Bill and Harry reminisce Our Last Summer, when they all met Donna. Sophie's soon-to-be-husband Sky urges Sophie to Lay All Your Love On Me. Sophie wants to know What's The Name Of The Game. Pierce Brosnan gets a duet and it's only approapriate that the song is called SOS. Donna is afraid that time is Slipping Through My Fingers. And When All I Said And Done we can only Thank You For The Music.

ABBA music is just awesome. For the hundredth time I have to humbly swallow my pride and admit that the damn Swedes did it once again. What ever song they are merciful enough to play on Saturday nights, you can bet I'm on the dance floor within that second and once again happily making a fool out of myself. I just can't resist those tunes.

 Meryl Streep is a wonder woman and I adore her and I want to be her! In Mamma Mia! she is again phenomenal, bubbling with great energy and presence. She might be in her 60s, but damn girl, senility isn't something you have to worry about just yet. And if anything else, her Winner Takes It All performance proves that she can sing the crap out of everyone if she wants to!

The actors all do their own singing, obviously. They might not all be qualified for stage (which gives me a good excuse to mention the stage musical. Which was so much fun. There's nothing like that final Waterloo singalong...), but I appreciate them for sticking their necks out and not taking themselves too seriously. Of course there's Amanda Seyfried (with that gorgeous hair I have to mention every time I talk about her), who sings just beautifully, but then on the other hand there's my dear Mr Firth and most of all Mr Bond, James Bond. Seriously, when Prosnan sings, even he himself looks like he's in pain. Oh well. I'm not the one to judge, really, haha. Of the rest of the cast, I want to mention the jättehärligt Stellan Skarsgård, the super hot Dominic Cooper with that super hot accent and Julie Walters, whom I love even when she's overacting.

The movie is silly, alright. There's a lot of screaming and jumping up and down and running around almost to the extent of being annoying. And yet it's just wonderful. It's an exlploding package of joy, fun, music and dance. The exlamation point is in the title for a reason! Mamma Mia! is a stimulant that never fails you. I've watched the movie on numerous rainy days - both literally and figuratively rainy - and every times it manages to light up the skies, bring a smile to my face and make my feet restless.

There's no guilt in this pleasure.

"I grew up."
"Well then grow back down again!"


Leena said...

Ah! Mamma Mia! En ole osannut päättää kummasta tykkäsin enemmän, näyttämö- vai elokuvaversiosta, mutta joka tapauksessa tykkään!

Kaksi vuotta sitten oltiin Lontoossa...

Eeva said...

Niitä on vähän paha mennä vertailemaan! Mutta kyllä se leffa tuntui heti musikaalin näkemisen jälkeen kieltämättä vähän... vaisulta.

Tasan kaksi vuotta? Ohhoh.

Marja said...

I loooove this movie! I actually prefer the ABBA songs sung by the cast over the originals. I don't care if mr. Bond can't sing. Anyone who's willing to put himself out there like that, without a gorgeous singing voice, has my vote.

One thing that bugs me a bit is the way the people act in this film, like they were on a stage.

Eeva said...

I agree, actually, I like these new versions, too! And Prosnan raised his points in my eyes by taking part in this film, no matter how painful he sounds.

And yeah, the overacting is a bit too much at times... But I guess it's part of the whole point.