Mamma Mia

July 25, 2008 at 12:53 am | Posted in Film Review | 1 Comment
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Or rather Poppa Mia – since it is about a young women’s search for her true father.

I went to see the film of the stage musical Mamma Mia – which seems to re-use every ABBA song ever.

July 22, 2008 by

Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

This film is a must see for ABBA fans; ABBA’s music is cleverly re-cast to tell the story of a young 20 year old woman – Sophie played by Amanda SiegFried – searching for herself. It is set on an incredibly picturesque Greek island – that must have been especially built by the Greek tourism commission.

Sophie is about to get married and after coming across one of her mother’s old diaries, she secretly invites the three men who could be her father to the wedding: Stellan Skarsgård, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth duly turn up. I am not going to bother giving their characters’ names, because their star quality just powers through the plot!

This comes as a unwanted surprise to Sophie’s mother – played by Meryl Streep. Two of her old friends – played by Julie Walters and Christine Baranski – who have proper invitations help to balance out the sexual dynamics. Once again I won’t bother giving their characters’ names, because their star quality just shines through!

The storyline is appealing: young woman searching for her father, but really searching for herself. Minor threads include: single parenthood; love that lasts a 20 year separation; and being true to yourself.

The music was wonderful; the singing was patchy: the mum, aunts and dads were not great singers, but hey, it was sunny and it didn’t get in the way of the story being told.

The dancing was nice. As someone said to me afterwards: “It is a bollywood movie with white people!” Who can turn down the cygnet dance done by four men wearing flippers! Did Meryl Streep really do the cossack unassisted off the bed?

The flow of the movie was a little stilted – stop start – due to the need to work in or set up the lines of the next song. This is where the movie betrayed its beginnings as a stage musical. But it did not really matter – the music and scenery carried all before it!!

The only thing that did not work, for me, was the visual age of the dads, aunts and the mother. Amanda SiegFried looks 20, but for me the others looked more like six grandparents. Still good on them for putting themselves outside of their genres.

I think that between them Christine Baranski and Julie Walters nearly ‘stole’ the movie.

They must have really enjoyed themselves making the movie – imagine getting paid to hang around on a sunny Greek island.


In some ways, this is long ad. for Mamma Mia the stage musical ! I will certainly go if given a chance !! I might even buy the sound track if it comes out.


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  1. […] I saw the Mama Mia movie in 2008, I resolved to see the stage show. Well last night, I finally made it: Wellington Musical […]

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