Sunday, January 4, 2009

[Movie Review] Mamma Mia

Straight off, I will say this: Mamma Mia is not meant to be a movie, it is supposed to be a stage musical, which is why it fails as a movie. It was never meant for the silver screen, this is obvious with it's weak plot and focus on breaking into ABBA song. Still, it's shortcomings are helped by a simple fact; its fun. While not holding a candle to the great screen musical that was Grease it is a fantastic delight to sit and sing-a-long to your favourite Swedish pop (especially on DVD special karaoke mode).

The plot centres on twenty-year-old bride to be, Sophie, who steals her mother's diary in an attempt to find the identity of her father. She arrives at three possible matches and invites them all to her Greek island home in the hope that she can have her dad walk her down the aisle. Of course, things go awry when neither the men, Sophie or her mother, can shed light on the paternity. With the wedding looming, Sophie must unravel the mystery, whilst singing song that every peasant seems to know by heart. Overall, the story acts as a loose segue from one Abba hit to the next.

The cast, headed by relative newbie Amanda Seyfried, is okay. Though being studded with veterans (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep), Mamma Mia seems a little flat in the non-singing department, though this could be due to weak dialogue. Each cast member sings, which is an achievement, though the females certainly do much better than their penis owning counterparts.

The singing segments are quite fitting of a musical, though it looks utterly ridiculous on screen. During these segments, former Abba members make cameos. These are both the films strongest point and its undoing, if you know the words and can join in (in my primary school many of the tunes were mandatory) then you will find this fun and great experience. Conversely, if you're not into musicals, singing or ABBA, then you should not attend a screening of this picture.