When my wife suggested we check out a certain box office smash, my mind went back several years to the time I attended the London stage show just a few months after it opened in 1999. While I enjoyed the music and choreography, the storyline did very little for me (I had pretty much the same problem with CHICAGO) and though I'm not averse to booking repeat performances of certain shows, I never had the urge to give MAMMA MIA! another whirl. Now, we have a stage-to-film adaptation on our hands and I initially feared I'd be facing the same scenario.
For the opening 15-20 minutes, my reservations seemed pretty much on the mark, as the opening histrionics surrounding preparations for the wedding of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) echoed your worst teen-movie nightmares. Sophie has invited three of her mother's former lovers to visit the island, hoping to learn the identity of her father. When her mother (Donna, played by Meryl Streep) learns of their presence, the stage is set for a journey towards the truth. It's quite a journey too, as Donna reforms her old group - Donna And The Dynamos - with several subplots punctuated by their own interpretations of songs from Sweden's finest. Streep is absolutely splendid here, with solid support from Julia Walters and Christine Baranski who join her in more than decent renderings of Abba gold. Yes, the film is decidedly lightweight, but it put a smile on our faces and a spring in our steps which makes it hard to knock, in my book.
MAMMA MIA! will be released on DVD in the UK on 24th November, and I'm sure we'll be giving it a spin not too long after it comes out.
Just before the film started, we were delighted to see a trailer for the Coen Brothers latest, BURN AFTER READING. Oh my word, this one does look delicious!