Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review: Mamma Mia!

Despite the super cheesiness of the trailer, I went to see Mamma Mia! a week before it officially opened here. How I suddenly got so excited to see this movie.. I don't know. But let me tell you this now, it's great!

Sophie (the luminous Amanda Seyfried) is getting married and dreams of finding her father. She invites her three potential dads (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth) to the wedding without informing her mother Donna (Meryl Streep). Singing, dancing, ABBA songs and hilarity ensues.

When I first heard about Mamma Mia! the movie and the cast was announced, I was really looking forward to it. Then I saw the trailer and I got a little scared. It just looked like this big cheese-fest. Since I was still recovering from last year's overly quirky Hairspray that left me with a toothache and in a vomit induced state, I was planning on avoiding this in theaters. But somehow I did end up watching it and I am pretty damn sure this movie will end up on my favorites of 2008 list at the end of the year.

I was hooked from the moment Amanda Seyfried starting singing "I have a dream..." She really impressed me. Sure she was fab as the ditzy blond in Mean Girls, but here she showed a lot of range. It was an endearing and brave performance. How could you not fall in love with her? Her voice was amazing as well. While Meryl Streep seems a bit old play Sophie's mother (if Sophie is 20, she should have given birth to her in her late 30s - so why wouldn't she be allowed to come home. She's an adult; old enough to make her own decisions), she IS Meryl "f*ckin" Streep and she can play whatever the hell she wants to play. And she was excellent and her singing was amazing too! I smell a Golden Globe. Supporting turns by Julie Walters and Christine Baranski as Donna's friends were great too. Both are funny ladies and Baranski especially impressed. Pierce Brosnan seemed a bit bland, but Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth seemed to have a good time and did the best they could do with their roles. Now that I think about it, all the male roles were a bit underwritten. Hmmm.. that probably explains why Dominic Cooper barely left an impression.

The writer did a good job including all those ABBA songs into the story. There's only one sequence that I thought was truly awful: the "Money Money Money" dream sequence. Yikes! The movie quickly recovered after that, but seriously, they could have left that part out. Overall, I really liked Mamma Mia! and my fellow audience members as well. If this movie doesn't want to make you sing and dance, you're dead inside. Probably the most enjoyable movie out there this summer. STAY FOR THE CREDITS! A 4/5.

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