Today is all about light and happy (it’s my Birthday!) so I thought I’d say a few words about that new Mamma Mia movie. I am a fan of ABBA from way back and feel like there is nothing better than a little ABBA Gold, their greatest hits album, to pull anyone out of a funk and I’ve been in a serious one lately. A couple of my friends saw the movie was out last week so we made plans to see it on Monday night. Guys, the theater was PACKED! I haven’t been to a theater so packed and on a Monday night in ages.
So a little backstory. Back in 2002, Jim and I visited London and the Cotswold area of England which had been a HUGE bucket list item of mine. When I met Jim the year before, I had been in the midst of planning and saving to take this trip on my own and he ended up surprising me with tickets for Christmas. Mamma Mia, the musical was a fairly new phenomenon and he got us tickets. It was icing on the cake. A cherry on the sundae. The play was amazing and fun and I ended up seeing it three or four more times over the next several years. One of those was a girls’ trip to New York and it’s with this group I saw the first and then the second movie.
While I saw the trailer, I did not read any reviews or other articles about the movie so as not to spoil it. The week before I watched the first movie on Netflix so I was primed to go. So I was completely taken aback when I learned Donna was dead. What?! No Merryl Streep in Here We Go Again?! But really, they made the best of it. They flashed back to Donna’s younger years from when she graduated from college and found her way to the island that would end up being her home for life and how she met the three men who were the questionable dad to her daughter Sophie. Lily James who played the young Donna has an amazing voice and screen presence. It was fun and cheesy and ok, it was a little sad.
The preview seemed to highlight Cher as an addition to the star-studded cast but she didn’t come in until nearly the end and I have to say she was a little weird. To be honest I’m not a huge fan and thought she upped the cheese factor significantly with her rendition of Fernando (played by Andy Garcia who was also weird in this movie). There were definitely some drawbacks and it didn’t really measure up to the first because, most notably, Streep’s absence until the very end of the movie when she ghosts/sings a song to her grown daughter. It was a low note to end the movie on. The montage as the credits rolled was somewhat redeeming.
Overall, it was a fun movie and I will likely see it again when it comes out on DVD.