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Mamma Mia (2008)

"Mamma mia, here I go again! My my, how can I resist you?"

Almost immediately after I go to the Netflix app, I turn Mamma Mia on. I just pressed it spontaneously, just like that. I don't even know why. I had very little interest in the movie before watching it, and I'm not even an ABBA fan. Well, I watched it anyway. My plan was to review Batman Returns, but I'll get this off of my chest.

I am a fan of musicals, but usually when they're absolutely phenomenal. I have so many Rodgers and Hammenstein movies on my to-do list, but I haven't even checked them out because I don't feel they can top The King and I or The Sound of Music. So me putting on Mamma Mia was a complete surprise for myself. Given the ratings, I'm not entirely sure what my expectations were beforehand, but I was fairly pleased with the end result.

This musical chick flick is about a bride-to-be who finds out about three possible dads she could have, and invites them all to her wedding without her secretive mother (Meryl Streep) knowing about it. But there's one problem after another when she catches them before the wedding.

I'll bet this movie was better on stage. There were a couple of big problems with it. First off all, most of the voices were incredibly underwhelming to the point where I really wished it was ABBA singing "Dancing Queen" and "SOS." And Pierce Brosnan just can't sing. What the hell went through their minds when they cast him in the film when they could have gotten someone like Gerard Butler, who's singing voice was just good enough to warrant a role as The Phantom of the Opera in the live-action movie by Joel Schumacher!? Pierce Brosnan has an edgy history with polarized-to-bad movies like Die Another Day or After the Sunset, and his singing voice didn't help. And I felt Amanda Seyfield's voice was better suited for Disney Channel original movies. Good, but not ABBA good.

My second complaint is that the director, Phyllida Lloyd, clearly didn't know what she was doing. It's like she was just copying the musical's direction and paying no attention to where the camera went for most of the movie. I mean, sure, I don't expact kathryn Bigelow. But I at least expected better than this.

But despite these complaints, I'll admit I liked the movie. I don't usually do chick flicks (this might even be the first one I ever fully watched), but there was a good presence about it. Meryl Streep, the best voice in the movie, was a real treat to watch. I had already seen her in Into the Woods, and this is a woman who was made for modern musicals. Her dancing was great and her acting was even better. perfect choice for the role of the mother Donna. And the older women in the movie were also quite a treat because they were just so funny and realistic as far as obnoxious woman who desperately want their youth back go.

And since it IS an ABBA music, most of the music was pretty good. yeah, we didn't have voices like Flatskog and Lyngstad, but most of the songs were pretty catchy. The real problem with the score itself, vocals aside, is that it can be song-after-song on multiple occasions, weighing down the story. But the story that was their was quite gripping. I kept wanting badly to know what was going to happen next, right from the first couple minutes where the basics of the plot are thrown in your face alongside one of the opening songs.

I'd say this was a pretty good movie for what it was. There's a lot of room for improvement, but it does its job as a musical. Thankfully I hear the sequel is much better, so I guess I'll see that when it's on DVD. My favorite thing about the movie was EASILY Meryl Streep.