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Movie Review: Mamma Mia! July 22, 2008

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer.

Movie Review: Mamma Mia!

Alternate Title: Oy Vey!

Story: The only good thing about sitting through a terrible movie is that I then go home and write the review. It is payback time. Let’s face it – writing a scathing review is oodles more fun than writing a mediocre review.

This movie stunk. There were no redeeming qualities to the film. No wait — if you can possibly sit through the whole film and are simply too numb to get up, when it is finally over, you will gasp aloud, as I did, while watching the credits. The costumes and performances during the credit role were hilarious.

The story is about 20 year old Sophie, who lives on a Greek island with her single mother, Donna. Sophie is about to get married and the only thing missing in her life is knowing who is her father. While reading her mother’s old diary she discovers that three men were intimate with her mother that summer 20 years ago. So what does Sophie do? She secretly invites them all to her wedding. Let the miscues, miscommunication, moronic behavior ensue.

How can a film shot on a Greek Island not be pretty? How can a stellar, three dimensional cast be so one dimensionally awful? Why did any of these actors agree to this fiasco? We will never know the answers to these mind boggling questions and I am still scratching my head at how very bad this movie turned out.

Yes, I saw the play a long time ago and didn’t get the enthusiasm of the crowd at that time either. You could say I am not a big Abba fan – but I am a big movie fan and I know a good movie when I see one and this piece ‘o crap was not a good movie. It was an empty calorie experience.

It was directed (and I use the term very loosely) by Phyllida Lloyd (who also directed the hugely popular stage show) and written by Catherine Johnson, who was responsible for the original musical book on stage. It was originally conceived by Judy Craymer based on the songs of Abba.

Watch the trailer and see all you need to see in under three minutes.

Acting: Meryl Streep as Donna has never looked more uncomfortable. I was embarrassed for her. Pierce Brosnan should never, ever be allowed to sing again. Colin Firth should not include this on his growing resume. Stellan Skarsgard looked totally confused throughout and seemed as if he were in pain. Julie Walters as one of Donna’s old friends could not have looked more uncomfortable. Dominic Cooper, who was terrific in The History Boys will survive this debacle as will the young and lovely, Amanda Seyfried (Big Love). Finally, Christine Baranski definitely looked drunk (and I do not blame her) the entire film.

Predilection: None

Critters: It was lucky there were no critters. They would have been stomped upon with all of the dancing, rolling around on the ground and kicking throughout the film.

Food: Lots of food being prepared for the big wedding, including fish and wedding cake but nothing was eaten.

Sex Spectrum: The implication of sexual activity was rampant but no sex on screen.

Blatant Product Placement: Sephora

Soundtrack: Ever heard Abba?

Opening Titles: The glitzy title of Mamma Mia! but all credits were at the gasping end of the movie.

Visual Art: The production values were so dismal even the Greek Islands looked depleted of color and warmth.

Theater Audience: A few other dazed and confused people.

Weather: Lovely

Sappy Factor: 3

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: I squirmed for all of the actors who had to do what they did.

Drift Factor: I looked at my watch for the first time after only 12 minutes. I then planned the rest of my life. Oy!

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: A resounding NO

Big Screen or Rental: Neither

Length: Too long at any length.




1. mlibrescu - July 22, 2008

You left out the part where everyone is totally miscast agewise. The backstory in the movie was supposed to have taken place around 1987. This is the summer where Donna gets pregnant.

There’s a line in the film (one has to call this a film simply because it was shot on film), where Donna is telling her daughter about what happened when she got pregnant. She says something like:

“When I got pregnant, my mother told me not to come home.”

Let’s see, Meryl Streep is 59. The daughter was about 20, thrown in another 9 months for the kid to be born and we have Donna being 38 in 1987. So her mother told her daughter who was pushing 40 not to bother coming home because she was pregnant.

Not very likely.

Likewise the three men were also about 10 years too old for their roles. Similarly miscast were Christine Baranski, who was merely too old for the role and Julie Walters who was also too old and just plain miscast.

2. lindoon - July 26, 2008

Meryl Streep was totally wrong for this role. How did she get this role? She assasinated the movie. Yuck!

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