Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Did you see it?
In the past few weeks I've seen The Dark Knight, The X Files, and Mamma Mia. Dark Knight rocked. X Files? Meh. Mamma Mia was super fun!

I've read the reviews and most of them are mediocre. But I think most of the reviewers were expecting more than just a summer-fun movie. The plot was simple: girl about to wed, who was never told who her real father is, finds three possible candidates from her mother's journal and invites them all to the wedding. She'll know her father when she sees him! But she doesn't.

Meanwhile Mom (played by Meryl Streep) is a bit of a hippie, free-wheeling, fun-loving woman who is forced to face her past in the guise of three suitors from said past. The story could have gone really deep and angsty, but it stayed very light, which I appreciated.

Critics complained of the awful signing voices. Well heck, I didn't find anyone's voice offensive. These are actors, not professional singers. I thought Streep did well, and Brosnan even rocked the screen. The best song was a solo by Julie Walters who seduces a reluctant Stellan Skarsgaard into Taking A Chance on her. Christine Baransky's solo with a sexy young suitor was also cute.
Critics also bemoaned the sloppy choreography. Again, I say, these weren't professional dancers. And the movie is supposed to be a summery beach kind of extravaganza. No one synchronizes their dance moves on the beach. I thought it was perfectly carefree, and I've even been humming some ABBA tunes lately. And I don't even like ABBA.

If I have any moans about the movie, it was Colin Firth's surprise announcement. That totally took me from out of the blue. Didn't see it coming, and didn't see a setup in the plot to explain its coming either. Also, it seemed Streep was really trying to embody the loose and fancy-free character, but it came off as forced. After a while, all the actors seemed to stop being so excited about their lines (like they were voicing them loudly and happily from the Broadway stage) and then things got much better.

At the end of the movie the three ladies sing a dance routine in spandex and spangles, a la ABBA. Stay and watch it, because they do two songs, and the second song, the men join in, wearing more spandex and spangles. It's a hoot! And a great afternoon at the movies with friends or family.

What did you think? Did you see the movie? Want to see it? Not sure about Pierce Brosnan in spangles?



Playground Monitor said...

It's on my must-see list after I get back from San Francisco. My sister saw it and also highly recommended it.

The DH and I saw Dark Knight over the weekend. WOW! No wonder Heath Ledger was disturbed over his role. Now I need to rent Batman Begins so I can see what led up to all this.

Back to Mamma Mia -- most times I ignore the critics because they don't realize many of us simply want to be entertained when we shell out eight bucks to sit in a dark movie theater.

I'm heading to the airport in an hour. See y'all when I get back. One of my must-do things in SF is to meet all the Riders.


PJ said...

I saw it last week. It was girls night out for me and three friends and we loved it. It was perfect summer entertainment. We laughed, sang, danced in our seats, laughed some more. I had been fore-warned by a friend to not leave before the end of the credits and I'm so glad I stayed. It was hilarious!
I've stopped reading the critics. What's so wrong with laughing and being entertained by a light-hearted movie?

Michele, I agree with you on the solo by Julie Walters. I was also floored by Colin Firth's announcement. Didn't see that coming!

I thought the actress who played the daughter did a great job. And who cares if Pierce Brosnan can sing well? All he has to do is stand there and smile and I'm satisfied. :)

Michele Hauf said...

Pj, glad you agree on the Firth thing. I thought I missed something.
And yes, the daughter was great. I think she was on some teen TV series, but not sure which one. I hear she's been getting some good offers now for movies. Good for her.

And yes, do watch Batman Begins. Excellent movie, and you can decide if you like Katie Holmes(Cruise) or Maggie Gyllenhall better as Rachel. I vote for Maggie. :-)

Liza said...

I plan on seeing it this weekend if at all possible. I'm going to see The Dark Knight on Friday night before the Breaking Dawn release party. I'm pretty excited about seeing both movies.

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I went to see Mama Mia last Friday evening. We LOVED it as did my friends teenage daughter.

We laughed outloud, tapped our feet, laughed some more, I cried when Meryl sang to Pierce on the cliffs, and we about laughed ourselves out of our seats at the closing credits.

We felt we more than got our money's worth of escape time during this movie.

Go see it - seriously.

Marci in OK

Candace said...

Saw it. Loved it. And Pierce Brosnan just keeps getting better and better looking.

Jane said...

ABBA songs are a guilty pleasure. I'll probably see it when it comes out on dvd. I saw some clips of Mamma Mia and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pierce has a nice voice.

Sean and Anna said...

I plan on seeing the movie when it comes out on DVD. I like the actors in it and I like musicals, but the whole ABBA thing makes it hard for me to spend that kind of money in the theater. I'm real picky about what I see in the theater because I have kids and a person practically has to take out a loan to take a family of 4 to see a movie these days. Besides that, my son was really irritated at all the promo for the movie- he cringes when the title is mentioned. Because I am weak I didn't want to deal with the arguments involved if I said we were going to see it. We did see the Dark Knight and loved it- worth the 40 bones it took to get in! And no arguing with the kids:)

AuthorM said...

I saw the live show so the movie's not high on my list, though I really liked the show -- I just have, you know, limited movie time. :) But I did see Wanted! Woo! And the Dark Knight AND the X Files, Michele, which I actually liked a lot but perhaps my Scully/Mulder squee helped.

In the live show the actors all come out at the end in the spandex -- funny that they do it in the movie, too! Maybe I will round up my daughter and mom and sister and take them to see it.

Though how I'll fit it in before I leave for Yellowstone I jest caint figger!


Michele Hauf said...

You squeed for X Files, M? It was more like an extended TV episode for me. Loved the relationship between Scully and Mulder, but was disappointed that there wasn't much X in the movie! Where were the aliens? The paranormal?

AuthorM said...

I liked it because I always got annoyed with the conspiracy cases, alien-wise, so I was relieved they didn't focus on that stuff. I liked it was a case, they solved it, it explored their relationship and how they've changed -- I loooooved seeing Skinner again! I loved so much about seeing the familiar characters in a new way. The case itself was creepy enough to keep me interested and yeah, it could have been more "exciting" but...I liked the story, overall. It left me satisfied.

Michele Hauf said...

Fair enough. Maybe I just want to see some Mulder/Scully nookie after all these years. :-)

Dina said...

I've not seen it yet, but will soon.

Betina Krahn said...

this has been the sommer of movies for me and I've really enjoyed them. . . but especially MAMMA MIA.

Great movie and enormous star power wattage. . . with lots of fun music and people on screen I could relate to big-time. I have to say, they can pan Pierce Brosnan's voice all they want, but it was the one that gave me huge chill bumps. . . it was so raw and male and filled with emotion. Clearly a man not used to voicing his emotions in any way. . . finally finding voice to sing about something in his heart. What's not to love about that?

And the dancing and the flirting and the sun and the possibilities of middle-aged love. Give me more!!!