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Mamma Mia

I don't think there has ever been a Eurovision winner quite like ABBA. They have produced some of the world's most memorable songs, from Money, Money, Money to Thank You For The Music. It's no surprise that somebody decided to turn them into a musical; a film version was also inevitable.

Mamma Mia is set on a greek island, where broke mother Donna's (Meryl Streep) daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married to Sky (Dominic Cooper) and wants her father to be at the wedding. The problem is, she doesn't know which man out of three is her Dad. In order to find out, she sends invitations to them all and the three potential fathers arrive for her wedding.

I don't usually like romantic comedies but in my eyes this is a fun, good-natured exception to the usual tacky romcoms. It helps that it adds something new by combining it with the musical genre; the ABBA songs work well with the film's plot as they all fit in seamlessly. Some may find it a little cheesy but if you're just after something fun to watch when there's nothing on TV you can't really go wrong with this movie.

The movie has a great cast too. Meryl Streep adds a lot to the comedy with her portrayal of Donna and Julie Walters and Christine Baranski are a lot of fun as her best friends Rosie and Tanya. The standout by far is, however, Amanda Seyfried as Sophie. Whenever she is onscreen, she has a very captivating presence and is by far the most interesting character in the film. She is a big part of why this film works so well; Amanda Seyfried gives a very sweet and believable portrayal that gives the film its heart that it needed to be the success it was.

The problem with the cast, however, is that they just can't sing. The exception is Amanda Seyfried, who gives a stunning version of the song Honey, Honey but the rest are poor. The worst offenders are Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan (who plays one of the potential fathers, Sam), who sound like a cat being tortured with a flaming matchstick whenever they try to belt one of the famous ABBA songs. It seems like whoever did the casting based it purely on the strengths of the acting rather than taking the singing into account and that's not a good idea when the film's a musical first and foremost. You end up having to mute the sound whenever they begin to sing then unmute it immediately after.

The cinematography is also very basic. There's nothing special really about the way it is shot; there isn't a great variety of shot types. It's mainly a lot of mid shots, although the framing is occasionally interesting such as this nice two shot below:

There's not been a great deal of thought put into the cinematography, especially when you compare it to other musicals like Les Miserables or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It's basically shot in the style of an average non-musical comedy rather than totally utilising the musical format.

Overall, Mamma Mia is a fun movie based on ABBA songs. The acting is great and it adds something new to the romantic comedy by combining it with the musical genre. However, the singing is terrible and the cinematography is a little basic. It is a very entertaining film though and definitely worth your time.