Today I had the pleasure of seeing Mamma Mia and it was everything I hoped it would be.
The musical takes place in Greece, and is about a girl, Sophie, who is getting married in two days. She wishes to know who her father is, so she finds her mother’s diary and mails invites to three men who could be her father. The musical was written with ABBA songs in mind. Having listened to ABBA before, I knew a lot of the songs that were in the movie, though I never saw the stage show. I was very interested in seeing how they fit into the plot without being really awkward songs. With regular show tune songs, like in Wicked and RENT, etc., the songs are created for the musical so the characters ease into the songs. I really felt Mamma Mia didn’t hit an awkward moment; the cast moved gracefully into the songs and made it seem as though the songs were created specifically for it.
Sophie- the daughter- played by Amanda Seyfried (dumb girl in Mean Girls)
Donna- the mother- played by Meryl Streep (if you don’t know who she is, you should get out more)
Harry- possible father #1- played by Colin Firth (known for being oh so yummmmy. oh and he was in Bridget Jones Diary, Love Actually…)
Bill- possible father #2- played by Stellan Skarsgard (Bootstrap Bill Turner in the Pirates trilogy)
Sam- possible father #3- played by Pierce Brosnan (Bond. James Bond)
Tanya- Donna’s BFF/ multiple divorcee- played by Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine in Chicago)
Rosie- Donna’s BFF/ book writer- played by Julie Walters (Molly Weasley in Harry Potter movies)
Sky- the fiance- played by Dominic Cooper (various tv roles)
Pepper- Sky’s friend- played by Philip Michael (Fair City)
Lisa- bridesmaid #1- played by Rachel McDowall (her first movie)
Ali-bridesmaid #2- played by Ashley Lilley (her first movie)
If you know me then you know I am completely obsessed with Broadway and musicals and plays and all of that theater stuff. So naturally, I could not wait to see this movie. I have always wanted to see the stage version but there are other shows I would rather see first. Because Broadway is not known for being affordable. So when I found out about the movie version I was delighted.
When Hairspray came to theaters in 2007, I was concerned about the casting choices. I knew some could sing and others I was unsure about. However, while researching this movie, I was quite unsure of pretty much the entire cast. I knew the moviemakers would not pick people who would cause the movie to flop… that would just be silly. But I still had my doubts.
Acting wise, each person played their character brilliantly. Meryl Streep shines in every role she takes on. At the beginning of the movie I felt her character could easily get annoying, but Meryl eventually eased into the role and made it rather enjoyable to watch. Her two best friends served as the comedic relief and they were very funny. I must admit I did not know Rosie was played by the same woman as Molly Weasley from Harry Potter. And you really can’t tell in the movie; she completely remakes herself. And I love Christine Baranski. Love love love her. She was (of course) amazing in this movie, and her character actually sings one of my favorite ABBA songs, Does Your Mother Know.
Amanda Seyfried was great too; very talented. And of course Colin Firth did not dissapoint. He was funny, charming, lovely, and his character has a bit of a twist at the end, which makes him even more amusing. I’ve never been a true Pierce Brosnan fan, but I thought he did a good job in this movie. Though I must say, I am still not a fan. And I figured out halfway through the movie why Stellan Skarsgard looked so familiar… he was in the Pirates trilogy! I haven’t really seen him in anything else, but he played his character so well, I was very impressed. All of the other actors were great. Dominic Cooper did a good job of being in love, and Ashley and Rachel played devoted bridesmaids quite well.
Singing wise, there could have been some different choices made. The biggest being Pierce Brosnan. As said previously, I am not a fan. But I gave him a chance and he fell short for me, for the most part. I think he did well enough, and through his duet with Meryl, SOS, I found him bearable. Plus I just really liked the song. Out of the three fathers Pierce has the most solos. I think there could have been other actors, big name actors, who could have fit the part just as well, if not better. Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler, Antonio Banderas… and the list goes on. Like I said, Pierce did ok (enough for me to listen to the songs on the soundtrack) but you should never really cast an actor for a role in a MUSICAL without even hearing them sing first.
Yes, all three fathers were cast without ever giving a singing audition. CRAZY, I KNOW. I don’t know if they were going for big names or what, but I would really like to know the reasoning. Colin and Stellan really only have one big solo in the movie, though it isn’t even for a complete song. I think they did a good job singing what they were given, and given recasting options I think it is ok to keep them on. With the big part that Pierce played, I just think they should have gone with someone better suited in the singing department. Dominic also sang beautifully, though he didn’t have as many songs as I thought he would, which is a shame.
Amanda was simply SPECTACULAR. I really think she could transfer to Broadway in a snap. I can see her in something a little rougher, like RENT or Spring Awakening, though she could be Eva Peron from EVITA in a heartbeat. I can not get over how amazing she was. I do hope she does another musical down the line. And Meryl did a fantastic job as well. I must admit I had my doubts, but she pulled through. She added a spunk to the character and did not disappoint. Julie Walters was great too. Not my favorite of the females, but she didn’t drag the cast down at all. And having seen Christine Baranski in Chicago, I knew she would be her usual, talented self. As stated earlier, she sings one of my favorite ABBA songs, Does Your Mother Know, along with Philip. They blew that song out of the water; it became one of my favorites all over again.
I really really really enjoyed this movie. It was funny, heartwarming, sad, happy, silly and totally girly. Which is just my kind of movie. I bought the soundtrack right after I left the theater and have had it on repeat the whole night it is that good. I encourage you to go see it and I DARE you to contradict my opinions. Only kidding. About contradicting. Go see the movie. Now.