Bringing the hit stage play to the big screen... Okay, if you hate cliche's then this movie isn't for you. "Mama Mia!" is a full-blown movie musical like they made in the haydays of MGM like "Singin' In The Rain" that had a thin premise of a plot. The story's sole function here is to simply string together the stars performing the greatest hits of the 70's Swedish rock group ABBA. And all of the stars here obviously had a blast, starting with Meryl Streep who plays Donna Sheridan, a single mother who owns a hotel on a small Greek island. Her daughter, Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried, has grown up never knowing who her father was. Shortly before she gets married, Sophie discovers her mother's diary from twenty years ago which includes the names of three candidates with whom her mother had affairs with dot... dot... dot... Anxious to have her father give her away, Sophie invites the three unsuspecting gentlemen to attend her wedding, and the hilarity ensues as it would in any musical comedy.
The cast is truly amazing here, starting with Meryl Streep, whose vocal talents I discovered only recently when she performed in "A Prairie Home Companion" with Lindsay Lohan, Lily Tomlin, and Kevin Kline, and was superb then and now. She has a sweet voice with amazing control that shines when she sings the intricate ABBA melodies. Another treat was Christine Baransky, who plays Donna's old friend Tanya, and is the complete package when it comes to singing and dancing and shows she still has what it takes to wow an audience. Full marks to Pierce Brosnan for having the guts to sing here. He gives it all he has, and holds his own. His physical graces that were apparent in the Bond movies show up here in the dance numbers - especially the finale' during the closing credits when the stars vamp it up in a big production number like rock stars. Be sure to wait for it when you see this video. Amanda Seyfried is as cute as a button, and reminds me of Kate Hudson, but Seyfried is either a better actress or she's just so perfectly cast here as the wide-eyed young girl that it seems so. If you love musicals, this is the movie for you. The vistas of the Greek island are spectacular in Blu-ray, of course, but it also makes the movie seem more like you're watching a stage show. All in all, "Mama Mia!" is a joyful two hours of all-out fun and fantasy.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our January, 2009 issue.
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