Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mamma Mia

Ssshhhhhhhhh please now, everyone quite here but I recently went to see a chick flick, and here is the part to please keep quite, I really, really liked this movie. In other words, I saw this flick that at least this one dude thought was really good. Not only was it a chick flick though, it was a musical and for those that know me, they will know of the disdain I have of musicals, but not this one, nope, this one has me still singing.

Mamma Mia may be the most perfect movie I get the chance to see this summer, in fact, it may be one of the most fun, most perfect movies I have seen in some time and for this dude that was totally unexpected.

I have to admit, there were several things about Mama Mia that caused me to want to see it, I think Meryl Streep may be the best actress of all time, and the ensemble cast including the beautiful Amanda Seyfried, the handsome Pierce Brosnan and numerous others is a cast well worth checking out. The other thing is, my wife wanted to see the movie pretty badly, and on that note, I realized a real man is willing to do things with their wife or loved one they normally wouldn’t be willing to do. There was another reason though, it is one I have to ask you to keep quite about again as I don’t want a lot of people knowing this, but truth is, I knew the movie was based off of the Broadway Play of the same title and it featured the music of the Swedish band ABBA, and ABBA was a band I actually enjoyed. (Whew, I got that out of my system; please don’t hate me for it.)

How good is the cast, direction, and everything else about this film? Virtually perfect! As mentioned earlier, I consider Meryl Streep one of, if not the best actress of all time. That said, in advance interviews related to the film Streep had stated this was the most fun she had ever had in making a movie. That fun explodes through the screen, and frankly, as much as Streep has given the movie going audience over the years, I thought and now know, audience owe it to her to see her perform a role where she is having such obvious fun.

I could mention so much more, the cast is wonderful, virtually every scene, every song, (again it is a musical) is performed to maximum enjoyment. One of the great moves in the direction of this is having actors perform the music as opposed to lip-syncing. It allows them to act the part and there are several songs that really move the audience. Not in a long time have I heard an audience reaction like I heard in Mamma Mia. One song in particular performed by Streep towards the end of the film with Pierce Brosnan, The Winner Takes It All, is actually better than the original, not because of the quality of the voices, but the ability to act out the meaning of the lyric. Truth is, not since Moulin Rouge, has a better musical been made, and not since Grease has a more fun musical been made.

The plot of Mamma Mia involves a young Donna, (Streep) who has an affair with three different men over a brief period of time. In the process, Donna gets pregnant, and some 20 years later her daughter Sophie, played by beautiful Amanda Seyfried is about to get married. She finds her mothers diary, discovers the names of the three men who could possibly be her father and invites them to Greece to possibly discover her real father to give her away at her wedding. Thereabouts is the general story that plays like a Royal Flush in the World Series of Poker Finals.

One of the things I loved about this movie is the exploration of what family is, what is important, and how one comes about discovering the things in life that are important. The music plays beautifully to the story, and the characters seem to fully understand their roles. We see three men come to understand their own roles in life, mistakes and all, and we also see three women, including the characters played by Streep, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski which rediscovers their friendship, and love for each other. Walters as Rosie, and Baranski as Tanya are nearly perfect in their supporting roles. These three may bring to the screen one of the most enjoyable ensemble group of women to ever be on screen.

It is a shame in some regards movies like Mamma Mia has to be there to remind of us of the importance of love, friendship, and relationships. Thankfully though, great movies like this one do just that. Real love, real appreciation between a parent and a child is something that is spiritual and of importance, while some of the conclusions to this film will certainly bother some ultra conservatives, the truth is, real love, and real value can be found if one ignores their own desire to prejudge and think of the negative. Family is of value, finding long lost love is also of value.

I loved Mamma Mia, I will see it again, and have discovered that real men can come to the conclusion that it is okay to like good chick flicks. Mamma Mia isn’t just a good Chick Flick though; it is a fun and wonderful piece of cinema, from spectacular scenery and cinematography, great costumes, incredible acting, and a fun time that actually had me applauding at the end of the film. Now for me, that is unusual, but I guess I am just one unusual guy.

On a scale of 1 – 10, for a great film an extremely rare, but pleasantly awarded perfect 10, so far, easily the most enjoyable film of the year.

To see a fun trailer for the movie Mamma Mia, just double click on the video below. If there is trouble with the video, just click on the link.


Meryl Streep Video Interview


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