July 18, 2008
Dir. Phyllida Lloyd
Prod. Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks
Genre: Musical Romantic Comedy
Based On: Music by ABBA
Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski
I’ve been watching this movie a lot lately. It’s just one of those films that I can watch over and over and a lot of the time I’ll have it on in the background while I’m working. Maybe it’s because it just feels like I’m listening to music.
Mamma Mia was originally a musical based on the music of ABBA and was adapted into a film in 2008.
Meryl Streep stars as Donna Sheridan, single mother to Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried) who sets out to find out who her father is before she gets married. The catch? There are three possible men who may be her father, but she doesn’t know which one it is and nether does her mother.
I love this film! I went and saw it when it was in theatres and it was so great because everyone in the theatre was jamming along to the music.
It was pretty obvious from the start that this film would be a huge success, a big reason for that being the all-star cast.
When you have Meryl Streep as the leading lady and acting opposite actors Stellan Skarsgard, Pierce Brosnan, and Julie Walters, to name a few, you know the bar is going to be set high.
Everyone is so recognizable which I love. You see an actor or actress in this film and it’s pretty likely that you’ve seen them somewhere else. And everyone can sing! I know that should seem obvious since Mamma Mia is a musical, but I wasn’t expecting it from some people!
I wasn’t expecting Karen from Mean Girls or Mrs. Weasley to be able to sing. Not only that, but now every time I watch Captain America I can’t stop laughing because before he was Howard Stark, many people saw Dominic Cooper dancing in sparkly spandex while singing “Waterloo”.
It truly is one of the best things I have ever seen in my life.
Mamma Mia is, of course, all about the music. Some of the songs will have you laughing, some of them will have you crying, but all of them will have you dancing.
I can’t really choose a favourite song in the film because they’re all so good, but “Dancing Queen”, “Does Your Mother Know”, and “Slipping Through My Fingers” are three in particular that I listen to over and over. “Slipping Through My Fingers” is the one that really gets the emotions going so be warned, but “Dancing Queen” is definitely one that will have you on your feet.
Of course, the music wouldn’t make us feel any of these things if it weren’t for the cast and crew. Obviously people feel something beforehand because some people have seen the musical or many people (I’m assuming) listen to ABBA.
But in the case of a movie, the challenge is making the audience feel something right off the bat, a connection to these characters they’re seeing. Because if the audience doesn’t care, then what?
But from the opening scene you can’t help it, immediately there is a love and connection for these characters. They’re all just so much fun! There isn’t one character in this film where you go, “ugh, I can’t stand them!” That feeling doesn’t exist in this movie!
Maybe it’s down to the writing, the directing, the actors, or the music. Whatever it is, that connection is there right off the bat and you can’t help but like them and want to know more.
The scenery helps too. Even if you didn’t like the characters, I’d keep watching just for the scenery because the settings in this movie is truly a sight to see.
Mamma Mia was filmed in various locations with majority of the outdoor scenes being filmed on location on a small island in Greece and oh my goodness this movie makes me want to up and move to Greece. It’s so gorgeous!
I feel like I should have known it was filmed on location because there’s no way you could manufacture water that blue, but at the same time it doesn’t seem possible for water to be that blue in nature without anyone doing anything.
God the wanderlust is strong with this film. You’re going to want to pack your bags and move to Greece, signing “Dancing Queen” all the way.
The last thing I really want to talk about for this film is the costumes. The costume department did a top notch job with this one because each character is so distinct in how they dress. From Harry’s (Firth) business suits to Tanya’s (Baranski) expensive dressed to Sky (Cooper) constantly wearing swim shorts, each character is so individual and unique that it just makes this film even more special.
It gives them all personality and really shows that you what kind of lives they live whether it be single and structured or on the island swimming every day. The costumes tell a story in themselves so kudos to the costume department.
Mamma Mia is a spectacular film and musical. The cast do an amazing job bringing these characters to life and the music is something I listen to over and over again.
If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not typically a fan of musicals, if you like music and top quality acting, you’ll like Mamma Mia.